VICTORIAN gold miner Newcrest has announced the third round of job cuts since July at its Telfer gold mine in East Pilbara.
Newcrest did not release formal figures for the redundancies, stating it would first inform affected employees, but referenced the ongoing depressed gold market, high Australian dollar and costly production as primary factors behind the decision.
“[It] is a challenging environment for gold miners at the moment,” a Newcrest representative told The West Australian.
“Obviously with the reduced level of mining, it means some workforce reduction.”
Newcrest employed more than 1800 people at Telfer before the gold price’s midyear crash. The company’s current 1200-strong workforce, including both employees and contractors, was expected to take a significant hit in the latest cutback.
The company confirmed the redundancies would take effect in early December, and would particularly focus on Telfer’s open pit Main Dome and West Dome, rather than its underground operation.
Newcrest made the announcement as the gold price sank to a five-month low of $US1234 per ounce. The fall effectively marked the end of the precious metal’s short-lived recovery to US$1400/oz across the first months of the 2014 financial year.
The company also suffered an exodus of senior executives in recent months. In November, company secretary Scott Langford departed from the company for personal and family reasons.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Langford joins chairman Don Mercer, chief executive Greg Robinson, and several other senior position-holders who all left the company in late 2013.