23/01/2009 - 09:04

Mining companies doing all they can: CME

23/01/2009 - 09:04

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As the fallout from the Ravensthorpe mine closure starts to unravel, the state's resources lobby group says mining companies are doing all they can to prevent further job losses.

Mining companies doing all they can: CME

As the fallout from the Ravensthorpe mine closure starts to unravel, the state's resources lobby group says mining companies are doing all they can to prevent further job losses.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy today said mining companies operating in Western Australia were "making it their absolute priority to redeploy employees internally or within the industry".

The comments follow the sacking of some 1800 employees and contractors from BHP Billiton's Raventhorpe nickel operation earlier this week, which will have ramifications for nearby towns and businesses.

Over the past few months, several mining companies have laid off some 5000 WA workers, incuding BHP's cutbacks, as the global economic slowdown curbs demand and commodity prices plummet.

"[When redeployment] is not possible and job losses occur, resource companies are endeavouring to minimise the impact by providing employees with full entitlement and redundancy packages, in many cases above and beyond their legal obligations," CME chief executive Reg Howard-Smith said.

While it may be doom and gloom for mining companies at the moment, Mr Howard-Smith said the industry remained optimistic about the future.

"While some companies are announcing cut backs and delays, others are progressing with expansion projects which offer employment opportunities," he said.

"The industry is working together to redeploy as many people as possible within the sector to retain our skilled workforce in WA.

"Western Australian mineral and energy producers have consistently been recognised as world leaders in productivity and profitability and the cyclical nature of our industry demonstrates that we will return to a position of strength."

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