Mining giant BHP has told workers at their Hunter Valley coalmine they’ve been forced to review their operations which could lead to an early closure.
In a bid to help drive down the soaring cost of energy, one of the measures Energy Minister Matt Kean is preparing to put in place an order requiring the state’s coal shippers to hold up to 10 per cent of their export coal and set it aside for domestic power plants at the capped price of $125 per tonne.
2HD has obtained a copy of the internal email sent to the around 2,000 employees at Mount Arthur Mine in Muswellbrook that says BHP is opposed to any market intervention due to the possible long-term impacts.
For Mt Arthur Coal, Adam Lancey, the Vice President of NSW Energy Coal said the intervention would see approximately 1.5 million tonnes needing to be re-directed and sold at a reduced price.
“Our primary concerns relate to the potential impacts on Mt Arthur Coal’s operations and business model, including what to do if our production costs are above the price cap – as well as understanding potential impacts on local communities and infrastructure such as the rail network, our long-standing commercial partnerships and our ability to meet our obligations to customers, and the energy market more broadly.”
“…We are actively reviewing operational plans and existing commitments to understand their implications. And, while I would like to avoid this scenario, the findings of this review may lead to a reassessment of our Pathway to 2030 plan.
“We have written to the NSW Government to make our position clear and I am actively engaging with Government representatives to convey our concerns in person.”
It was announced last year that BHP would close the mine and not extend it after failing in their bid to find someone to buy the coalmine and continue its operations past 2030.