Whitehaven shuts Sunnyside on declines in coal prices

Aussie miner Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) has announced the indefinite suspension of operations at its Sunnyside mine near Gunnedah in New South Wales.

In a press release Whitehaven cited the ongoing decline in global coal prices as the reason for its closure.

Resumption of operations at the Sunnyside mine have not been ruled out, with Managing Director Tony Haggarty saying "we have every intention of recommencing production at Sunnyside if and when the coal market improves to appropriate levels."

Australian coal miners have been battered of late by the ongoing decline in commodities prices due to ailing Chinese demand. Leading miners including BHP (ASX:BHP), Vale (NYSE:VALE) and Rio (ASX:RIO) have implemented a wave of retrenchments and cost cuts as a result.

According to Australian Mining Whitehaven will offset the 4 million ton gap in output left by Sunnyvale's closure with its Werris Creek mine, using larger machinery to raise production.