Norwich Park mine

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The Norwich Park mine was an open cut metallurgical coal mine which originally had a production capacity of 5.5 million tonnes of coking coal and ultra low volatile coal a year. The mine, which closed in May 2012, is located 24km south east of Dysart and 266km south west of Mackay in the Bowen Basin in Queensland.[1]

In the year to June 2012 the mine produced 2.35 million tonnes.[2] It was reported that the mine employed 400 staff and contractors. [3]

The mine is owned and operated by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA), a 50:50 joint venture between BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi Development. (BMA also operates the Peak Downs mine, Saraji mine, Goonyella Riverside mine, Blackwater mine, the Gregory Crinum mine as well as the Hay Point Coal Terminal.

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Closure

In April 2012 BHP Billiton announced that the mine would close the following month. In a media release the company stated that the "has been losing money for several months. This situation has come about as a result of a combination of lower production, a significant increase in costs and lower coal prices." BMA Asset President, Stephen Dumble stated that "this decision was not made lightly. However, the impact of last year’s floods, combined with lower coal prices and high costs, has resulted in an operation that is not currently viable." BMA stated that the company would "be aiming to maximise redeployment opportunities for Norwich Park employees to Saraji Mine to enable, where possible, those employees and families to remain living in Dysart."[4] It was reported that approximately 1300 workers and contractors were affected by the closure. BMA claimed that 99% of workers have been redeployed to their first or second choice location while 80 had taken voluntary redundancy.[5]

Articles and resources

References

  1. BHP Billiton, "About BMA", BHP Billiton website, accessed June 2010.
  2. BHP-Billiton, "BHP Billiton production report for the year ended 30 June 2012", Media Release, July 2012, page 14.
  3. Miranda Forster, "Mine closure to hit us hard, community says", Sydney Morning Herald, April 12, 2012.
  4. BHP Billiton, 'Norwich Park Mine to cease production", Media Release, April 11, 2012.
  5. Megan Hendry, "Norwich Park mine workers down tools for good", ABC News, May 11, 2012.

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