More job cuts at BHP’s Mt Arthur coal mine

More job cuts at BHP’s Mt Arthur coal mine

BHP's Mount Arthur mine.

BHP Billiton (ASX, NYSE:BHP) is cutting another 150 jobs from its Mount Arthur open-cut coal mine, in NSW Hunter Valley, adding to the more than 4,000 direct coal jobs lost in that region in the past two years.

The world’s largest miner said the cuts would be made by the end of February 2015. They follow an ongoing review of the operation.

“The Australian coal industry continues to experience difficult market conditions, including continuing low coal prices and a strong Australian dollar,” BHP’s NSW energy coal asset president Peter Sharpe said.

The NSW Minerals Council said the latest job cuts were a further sign of the tough times the state’s coal industry was facing because of the cyclic downturn in coal prices.

Prices have been dangerously flirting with a predicted five-year low this year and analysts don’t see the situation getting better anytime soon, as China’s demand continues to wean.