Yancoal to close its Austar mine at Paxton

Austar mine set to close

YANCOAL has announced the closure of its Austar coalmine at Paxton after more than 100 years of operation.

A spokesperson from Yancoal said the decision, which comes just shy of a year since the mine was transitioned to care and maintenance, was in response to a review into the viability of recommencing production.

"The commencement of closure planning at Austar will not immediately impact the 43 employees currently on site," the spokesperson said.

"Similar to the process undertaken when the mine transitioned to care and maintenance, Yancoal will engage and consult with site employees and their representatives regarding: closure activities for the mine; likely impacts this will have on them; and measures to mitigate these impacts."

Closure activities will prepare the site for post-mining use and include the removal of mine equipment, sealing of the mine workings, dismantling of infrastructure, extensive rehabilitation, and monitoring of the final landform.

"These activities are anticipated to take up to 10 years to complete before relinquishment of the mining lease could be undertaken. Yancoal will work closely with the Government and local community during this period," the spokesperson said.

"Different phases of the site's closure and rehabilitation will require different employment levels. Our people are at the centre of everything we do and we are committed to providing future support and further career opportunities for those employees that will be impacted by the closure of the mine.

"This will include offering redeployment opportunities where possible to our other operations and other measures to mitigate the impacts on employees."

Austar was placed in care and maintenance in March last year.