By Jane Goldsmith

April 15, 2015

KARARA Mining has made substantial workforce cuts less than a month after accepting WA’s first magnetite royalty rebate payment – a State Government initiative created to save jobs.

“Due to current market conditions and the falling iron ore price, Karara Mining has undertaken a comprehensive business review,” the company stated.

“Regrettably this has meant a reduction… of around 15 per cent across our total workforce. These reductions have affected a wide range of positions.”

The changes, implemented in mid March, saw the loss of about 70 positions from the company’s Perth office, Karara site and Geraldton Port operations.

“Our review process has examined every available option to reduce costs. These changes deliver cost reductions at a time of depressed iron ore prices,” Karara stated.

“Karara Mining reviews its operations on an ongoing basis to ensure it is operating efficiently and that its operating costs are as low as possible.”

The company made the announcement shortly after receiving a WA royalty rebate payment aimed at protecting its workforce.

“Almost 500 workers and their families rely on Karara, during what are challenging times for the industry,” WA Mines and Petroleum minister Bill Marmion said at the time.

“We believe magnetite development has long-term potential to promote further investment across the state.”

The Karara iron ore project, 200km east of Geraldton, opened in 2010 and was the first mine in WA to produce and ship magnetite concentrate to China.