Glencore cuts 450 jobs in mines

CENTRAL Queensland is reeling from revelations that 450 more jobs will be slashed before the end of the year, as Glencore takes the scalpel to its Newlands and Oaky Creek mines.

Glencore - which owns Xstrata as a subsidiary - announced the cuts in a statement on Thursday morning, blaming the devastating news on "a backdrop of lower coal prices", high costs and the buoyant Australian dollar.

Workers will begin learning their fate from Thursday.

Newlands will cop the majority of the cuts, with 300 to be lost from its workforce of 1227.

As it reduces production, underground and open-cut mine workers will be given their marching orders.

A further 150 of its 1230-strong team at Oaky Creek will be dispatched as Glencore winds back production to just one "longwall" or underground operation

A spokesman for Glencore-Xstrata said staff cuts were "a difficult decision but one that needs to be taken in the current challenging economic conditions".

"The changes are part of ongoing reviews of Glencore's coal operations in an increasingly challenging economic climate".

The announcement is the latest blow to the Central Queensland mining industry in what has been a month of bad news, after Peabody, Xstrata, EDI Downer and Anglo American already revealed cuts adding up to almost 800 jobs between them.

The Federal Government estimated 9000 jobs have been lost from Queensland and New South Wales coal mines in the past 18 months.