Christchurch-based Solid Energy has proposed even deeper staff cuts – including half its backroom work force and half its executive leadership – as it tries to weather the plummeting price of coal.
Yesterday the state-owned miner’s new chairman, Mark Ford, announced another round of staff consultation after confirming the company proposed mothballing Spring Creek mine near Greymouth, halting further development of Huntly East mine, and cutting corporate staff.
The company said it needed to axe a quarter of its work force, or about 440 people, because of a severe downturn in global coal prices which would shave $200 million in revenue in the coming financial year.
That does not not include 130 contractors at Spring Creek who would also be out of work.
Depressing? Cheer yourself up with this 2010 press release from Gerry Brownlee and Kate Wilkinson in which they argued that the only future for the New Zealand economy was to dig up our national parks for the fabulously valuable coal they had beneath them.