Walter to lose on Oaky suspension

WDS is examining the impact of the shock decision. “We are currently in discussions with Xstrata to determine the effect on Walter Mining operations at the Oaky facility,” WDS chief executive Gareth Mann said in a statement today. He said at this stage the direct impact to WDS would be a net profit after tax reduction of about $A1 million for this financial year. “We are continuing to examine the broader impact across the business and potential mitigants, including the potential for relocation of staffing to other mine operations,” Mann said.“It is anticipated the detailed review will be available to be included in the December 2008 half-year results announcement scheduled for late February 2009.”Xstrata will lay off 40 permanent staff and 190 contractors at the mine which is the first Australian longwall casualty of the global economic crisis, with open cut mines suffering a similar fate. Macarthur Coal announced on Monday it would cut 180 jobs and output from its Coppabella and Moorvale mines.Oaky No. 1 is part of the larger Oaky Creek Coal complex, which includes the Oaky North longwall.The complex produces 11 million tonnes per annum of ROM coal, with Oaky No. 1 producing about 6.2Mt in 2007. The mine was the second largest producing longwall from July 2007 to June 2008.

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