BHP Billiton set to close central Queensland mine

MINING giant BHP Billiton will shut down its Crinum mine in central Queensland in 2016, putting a question mark over the future of 200 workers.

The company has yet to reveal whether the workers will be given jobs at other mines or be made redundant.

Crinum produced its first longwall coal in June 1997.

It is located 62km north east of Emerald.

Capital investment totalled over A$350m, including over A$30m for the longwall.

More than 12,000 jobs have been lost in the mining sector since the peak of the boom, News Corp reports.

BHP Billliton said it had achieved record production and sales volumes at Queensland Coal in the 2015 financial year following the successful ramp-up of the Caval Ridge mine and continued productivity improvements.

" Production increased by 18 per cent from the March 2015 quarter which was affected by wet weather and a longwall move at Crinum,'' the company said in an operation review for the end of the financial year released on Tuesday.

"At current mining rates, operations at Crinum are expected to cease in the first quarter of the 2016 calendar yearas the mine approaches the end of its economic reserve life.

"Production is forecast to decrease in the 2016 financial year to 40 Mt as a result of the closure of Crinum.

"Longwall moves at the Broadmeadow and Crinum mines, and wash-plant shutdowns at Goonyella and Peak Downs mines
are scheduled for the September 2015 quarter. Production is expected to commence from the 1 Mtpa Haju mine in
Indonesia during the 2016 financial year.''