BMA to close unviable Norwich Park mine in Australia

The BHP-Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) has said it would cease production at one of its seven central Queensland mines.

The alliance said the open-cut Norwich Park mine near Dysart had been losing money for several months. It said production losses due to the flooding last year, cost increases and lower coal prices were to blame.

According to BMA, recent industrial action at the mine had also had an impact, but the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) said the action would not have much impact on the decision.

In a statement, the company said the decision to cease production followed a seven-week review of the viability of the mine that had been unable to find an immediate way to return to profitability.

BMA said it would not restart operations until it found a solution. The company said a number of workers would be redeployed to its nearby Saraji mine to allow them and their families to continue living in Dysart.

The CMFEU claims the closure would hit several hundred workers.