15% of Queensland's mining jobs to disappear in two years

Analysts say more mining jobs will be axed in Australia's tropical state of Queensland as the beleaguered resources sector continues to weather a barrage of adverse factors.

Following a recent spate of retrenchments by leading coal miners in Queensland including Xstrata (LSE:XTA), Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), and BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), which just earlier this week shed 300 workers at its Gregory coal mine, ABC News now reports that a leading analyst expects heavy job losses in the sector to continue.

John Rolfe, professor of regional development economics at Central Queensland University, estimates total job losses so far to be in the region of several thousand, incurring a total of 10,000 job losses throughout the state of Queensland due to the multiplier effect.

According to Rolfe Queensland's mining workforce will shrink by 15% within the next two years, with few replacement job opportunities in sight.

Australia's mining sector has taken a battering this year from rising costs, a stronger Aussie dollar, and dives in commodities prices due to flagging growth in key export market of China.

The travails of the sector have already led many to declare that the Australian mining boom is over, including no less a bellwether figure of opinion than the country's resources minister Martin Ferguson.