Redundancies, R&D blow to Hunter Valley

In November, Sandvik Mining announced 73 redundancies from its national operations across Australia. Of these redundancies, 28 have been from Sandvik?s assembly and aftermarket operations at its Hunter Valley Site (HVS) at Heatherbrae, north of Newcastle. The company also announced that it is relocating its exploration products R&D unit from HVS to its Melrose Park facility in Adelaide.

Frank Ryan, Sandvik Mining?s vice president for underground coal operations, explained that the redundancies are ?a direct result of the downturn in the mining industry ? in particular the coal market in Australia?.

He explained that the relocation of the exploration products unit was in line with Sandvik Mining?s intention to establish a diamond bit R&D facility in Adelaide, incorporating a pilot plant to maximise speed to the market with new products.

?Core barrels will also be assembled and distributed from this facility,? he added.

Ryan said that Heatherbrae employees who had been engaged in the exploration products business would be redeployed to other parts of the business.

?In implementing this redundancy program, Sandvik Mining followed the consultation process with unions and employees as outlined in our industrial agreement at Heatherbrae,? Ryan explained.

Of the 28 positions made redundant at Heatherbrae, nine are voluntary and 19 are forced redundancies.

The total number of Sandvik Mining employees at Heatherbrae is 526. Sandvik Mining Australia has approximately 2100 employees across 56 sites and the redundancies represent less than 3.5 per cent of its total workforce.

Source: Sandvik Mining

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