Perilya Broken Hill is cutting its workforce – both contractors and fulltime employees – the company announced on Thursday, and we understand operations at the North Mine will cease, though the company has not officially confirmed that yet.
“The final decision on activities at the North Mine in still under review and a final decision will not be made until sometime mid-month,” mine General Manager, Bruce Byrne, told the Truth.
“We are currently going through a process that will see our Broken Hill operations restructured,” he said in a statement under the heading Site Crisis Management Plan.
“Regrettably, employee numbers including contractors will be decreased. We are doing this to ensure the ongoing viability of our business in Broken Hill,” Mr Byrne added.
“We are in discussions with our employees and contractors while at the same time finalising specific details of this restructure.
Mr Byrne said, “the aim and challenge will be to make the resized Broken Hill operations viable for the future.”
He said the decision on North Mine, “will also determine the final number of jobs lost”.
There are around 300 employees at the mine, making it one of Broken Hill’s largest employers.
The North Mine is one of the highest-grade deposits in the world, containing 3.7 million tonnes at 11.3 per cent zinc, 13.5 per cent lead and 219 g/t silver.
This week’s announcement mirrors a similar one in 2016, when ‘major restructuring’ was announced due to low metal prices. Following that announcement up to 100 full time and contract workers were given their marching orders, with forced redundancies handed out to some workers.
There has been no indication so far whether this time around will be a similar sized restructure.
Mayor Tom Kennedy praised Perilya for keeping the Council informed about developments and told the Truth he expected the situation to be, “temporary.”
“They’ve [Perilya] given a commitment that as soon as they can they’ll restart the North Mine development, it is just going into ‘care and maintenance,” Cllr Kennedy said.
“It won’t be the [employment] devastation that has been for past mine restructures, I hope. It is really just a wait and see. Hopefully it will be minimal,” Cllr Kennedy said.