Jindal Steel shutting down coal mine in Australia
Melbourne: One of Australia’s oldest coal mines owned by Indian major Jindal Steel and Power is being shut down following its deteriorating operating and finacial conditions.
The 128-year-old Russell Vale Colliery, 100 kms south of Sydney, is being closed down after financial losses faced by its operator Wollongong Coal Ltd (WCL), an Australian mining business operating in the Southern Coalfields Region of New South Wales.
Jindal Steel and Power had acquired a major controlling stake and management control of WCL in 2013.
“This decision is not taken lightly and we have continually attempted to avoid this unfortunate situation by undertaking a series of workforce restructurings,” WLC chief executive Milind Oza said.
The closing of the long-standing mine, which started operating in 1887, in the Illawarra region will led to over 80 job losses.
Accoroding to reports, the closure of the mine has come amid the company’s failure to gain approval for expanding underground mining operations by state’s controversial Planning Assessment Commission in April.
WCL in a statement said that the company will put the mine on care and maintenance and will continue to seek approval for the mine’s expansion, which would see a re-opening of the mine.
WCL reported a loss of 199.2 million dollars in the financial year to March 31, following 169.4 million dollars loss the previous year, media reports said.
A small team will be maintained at the Russell Vale Colliery to undertake care and maintenance activities.