Newcrest: 150 Lihir jobs to go

Business, Normal

The National, Wednesday June 26th, 2013

 NEWCREST Mining Ltd will cut at least 150 jobs from its workforce at the Lihir gold operations, according to the company’s spokesperson in Melbourne.

The Australian has reported that the cuts would affect about 150 workers at Newcrest’s Lihir gold mine, which employs nearly 3,000 direct employees and 2,000 contractors.

PNG country manager Peter Aitsi has confirmed that “positions at the Newcrest Lihir gold operations have been reduced between 5 to 7% of the overall workforce”.

He said this to clarify a previous report on Monday that 450 would be affected by the job cut.

The changes have been made in the context of a challenging external environment, which has seen   gold prices fall significantly, the biggest drop in the past 30 years.

“Reductions will impact 5% to 7% of the overall workforce. 

“Specifically, 10% of our expatriate workforce and around 8% from our national workforce.

“We have kept our employees and stakeholders regularly updated and so the announcement should not come as a surprise,” Aitsi said.

He said Newcrest was now commencing on the implementation of a simplified business model.  

General manager operations Lihir Karl spaleck said: “Our level of activity (Lihir) will be reduced and then prioritised to ensure we are delivering on the critical actions.

“Over the last few days, we have seen a reduction of our workforce numbers with conversations being held with employees affected by the changes,” Spaleck said.

He added: “There will be a bigger focus on using the stockpiled ore which is an asset that has been building for a number of years.”