Archive for the ‘EMPLOYMENT’ Category

5,000 workers to be hired for a new huge $15bn coal mine in Australia

Monday, November 10th, 2014

coal stack image






The developer of Australia’s US$15bn Carmichael coal mine, one of the world’s largest fossil fuel projects, said it will start hiring the over 5,000 people it needs for the construction phase beginning next year.

With the announcement, Adani Group —an Indian conglomerate with interests spanning mining, energy and logistics— has doubled the estimates made when the coal mine and rail project got its final approval.

carmichael-coal-mine-map image





Map from the Queensland’s Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning web site.

Designed to eventually produce 60 million tonnes of thermal coal a year, the project consists of six open-cut pits and up to five underground mines, to supply coal-hungry Indian power plants with enough of the fossil fuel to generate electricity for up to 100 million people.

According to Ferret Group Media, Adani is accepting resume submissions through its website. It will be hiring for coal exploration, coal mining, rail construction and operations, infrastructure construction, and port expansion and operations.

The port Adani will use, Abbot Point, has been the centre of heated debate, as conservationists opposed a proposed expansion on the ground the project would dredge up 3 million cubic metres of sand and then dump it near the Great Barrier Reef.

Opposition to the port expansion and the proposed Galilee basin coal mines has grown in recent weeks. First UNESCO warned it might place the Great Barrier Reef on its endangered list as a result of the port expansion. And last week US ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s launched a Save the Reef campaign that prompted authorities to call a boycott from Australian consumers, as they claim it is “propaganda” that has damaged the reputation of the reef, jeopardizing jobs and tourism dollars.

Henry Sapiecha


Monday, November 10th, 2014


Mining suppliers in the Canadian province of Ontario provided 2.5 times as many direct jobs in 2011 as did mining itself, a fresh report reveals.

Examining what’s been called a “hidden sector” not tracked by Statistics Canada, the study — conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for the Canadian Association of Mining Equipment and Services for Export — shows the sector created 40,960 direct and 27,471 indirect jobs in 2011, paying $4.6 billion in salaries.

Suppliers of equipment and services contributed $3.9 billion to provincial GDP for that year, or $6.2 billion when indirect impacts were counted.

A similar study released in 2012 found the mining sector accounted for 16,000 direct jobs, compared with 40,960 direct jobs provided by suppliers.

The PwC report follows other recent studies extolling mining’s economic virtues. Among them was a report listing some of the benefits to Greater Vancouver from British Columbia’s resources sector and an OMA study examining how a single new gold mine could benefit Ontario.

Henry Sapiecha

Australia to lose up to75,000 mining jobs in the coming two years

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Between 50,000 and 75,000 mining jobs will be lost in Australia over the next couple of years as the industry’s US$427 billion (A$450bn) investment on new capacity slows, research by the ANZ bank released on Wednesday shows.


According to the bank, the cuts will occur because the sector is switching from the job-heavy construction stage to the operational phase, which requires fewer workers.

Falling commodity prices, with both iron ore and coal tumbling this year, will also affect job creation and could see more positions go

Falling commodity prices, with both iron ore and coal tumbling this year, will also affect job creation and could see more positions go due to mining companies and suppliers efforts to cut operational costs.

Earlier this year Glencore (LON:GLEN) shut part of its Ravensworth coal mine because the operation was uneconomical. Brazil’s Vale (NYSE:VALE) followed closing its Integra Mine Complex for the same reasons. And they’re not alone, cut backs are going on throughout the whole sector.

This ANZ chart shows the strong relationship between resources investment and job creation. Taking into account resources extraction, which is increasingly becoming a volume game, resources investment, and commodity prices, the estimates are alarming.

up-to-75k-jobs-chart1 image

By 2016 the bank expects resources investment (the blue line) to drop from about 7.5% of GDP to 4% — almost half in nearly three years. The yellow line, which shows employment related to resource investment, implies it will follow the blue line.

As a result, the bank’s economists say there will be little improvement in the nation’s 5.8% jobless rate.

ANZ senior economist corporate and commercial, Justin Fabo, was quoted by The Australian saying that weaker than expected commodity prices would likely increase the risks to more job losses as mining firms seek to cut costs.

“So we think the unemployment rate will be in spitting distance of six percent over the next 12 months, and for improvement after that to be gradual,” he said.

The Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency estimates there are 263,000 jobs in the resources industry, which represented an 80% increase over five years.

Henry Sapiecha



Sunday, July 28th, 2013



Henry Sapiecha

fine gold line


Monday, March 4th, 2013


Australian miner Barminco fired up to 15 workers and banned them for life from all of the company’s projects after the men staged a video stunt underground in the Agnew gold mine, reports The West Australian.


The company fired the men who performed the stunt, as well as several onlookers, for breaching safety rules and company values.

The video stunt shows the eight men, one in his underwear and five with their shirts off, gyrating around next to a piece of mining equipment while electronic dance music plays.

While on a work break in the pit, the eight workers performed their version of the “Harlem Shake,” a dancing craze sweeping the Internet, then posted their clip of it on the popular video-sharing website YouTube, where almost 4,000 similar dancing videos are being uploaded every day.

One of the workers said the company was too heavy-handed because the men were having some fun, adding they weren’t wearing shirts so the Barminco name wouldn’t appear in the video.

The company has released no official statement.

Reaction online has been mixed with some people agreeing it was fun and others saying the men deserved to be sacked for violating rules.

While the original video has been taken down, a 30-second clip was preserved and has been remounted more than once on YouTube:

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, January 14th, 2013

20 Jobs in High Demand in the

Australian Resources Industry

The Australian resources industry is currently experiencing a severe shortage of skilled workers. This infographic lists 20 jobs that are in the highest demand including engineering, geosciences and skilled trades.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Australian miners have reduced overhead by $2 billion and laid off nearly 10,000 miners over the last couple of months, according to a report by R2Mining and CostMine.

“The majority of the Australian mining industry has found that it is no longer profitable to invest in the current economical climate,” writes the report authors, Shahriar Shafiee and Nick Abbate.

“The main factors threatening the Australian mining industry are the fall in mineral commodity prices over the last 12 months, the uncertainties created around the mining and carbon taxes, an increasing royalty rate, a strong Australian dollar, and slowing of China’s economic growth.

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“Therefore with the no improvement in commodity prices expected in the short.”

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Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, August 22nd, 2011


BlueScope Steel considered shutting down its entire manufacturing operations before opting for today’s rationalisation plan that will axe more than 1000 jobs.

The nations biggest steelmaker confirmed it would abandon its export business, in a move that will require its blast furnace capacity at Port Kembla to be halved, and a Hot Strip Mill at Western Port to be shut down.

Bluescope shares extended their recent losses today, losing 4.5 cents, or 5.7 per cent, to 74.5 cents. The stock has lost 67 per cent of its value this year compared with a 14 per cent fall for the ASX200 share index.

Bluescope chief exective Paul O’Malley said the changes would cost 800 of the 3100 jobs at Port Kembla, and 200 of the 1000 jobs at Western Port, with most of those workers to be gone by October.

But the job losses won’t end there with Mr O’Malley saying that significant numbers of contractors would also lose work.

”Contractors will be affected, and we can only make estimates on that … but in total it may be in the order of about 400 contractors who certainly won’t be working at the steelworks,” he said.

Mr O’Malley said the axed workers had an ”iron clad” guarantee of being paid out their entitlements, and would be treated with ”respect” throughout the process.

The changes come after a lengthy review which Mr O’Malley said considered all options, including a complete shutdown of all manufacturing, or a joint venture with foreign companies.

He said Bluescope had settled on this plan – which effectively reduces the company back to a domestic producer – because it would make the company viable in the current difficult economic circumstances, and very profitable if conditions improved.

”Moving to a complete shut is absolutely the wrong decision for the company, the shareholders and Australia, which is why we are going on the path we are going on,” he said.

The company reported an underlying loss of $118 million for the year to June, which ballooned to $1.054 billion once asset writedowns are included.

The poor result was caused by the high Australian dollar, a global glut in steel production, poor demand for construction in Australia and extremely high costs for steelmaking ingredients like iron ore and coal.

The company said it was also on the look out for acquisition opportunities in the iron ore sector – following rival OneSteel’s move today to increase its iron ore exporting business from six million tonnes per year to nearly 10 million tonnes per year.

The company stressed the changes had nothing to do with the Federal Government’s planned carbon tax, and Prime Minister Julia Gillard indicated Bluescope would be allowed to receive some of its planned support funding earlier than originally planned.

The Victorian and NSW Governments, in concert with the Federal Government, were also moving yesterday to mobilise support packages in the Western Port and Illawarra regions

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Henry Sapiecha


Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Former CEO sues gold firm for $1m

Leonie Wood      March 23, 2011

ED ESHUYS may have set some ambitious performance goals over the four years that he was chief executive of the gold producer St Barbara Ltd, but in the tumultuous year of 2008 he may have been too ambitious.

St Barbara’s production and budgetary targets were not met, cash was tight, and with a global crisis of confidence paralysing the banking sector there were grim prospects of refinancing the company’s facilities. As the Victorian Supreme Court heard yesterday, disappointment followed disappointment at St Barbara in 2008.

A five-year management budget did not meet Mr Eshuys’ standards, so was deferred; a multimillion-dollar accounting error emerged in October; and there were difficulties mining ore at the company’s West Australia operations.

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By November 2008, the court heard, Mr Eshuys’ fellow directors had become ”alarmed” by a further deterioration in the cash position. By mid-December, St Barbara’s board found a replacement for Mr Eshuys.

When he left in March 2009, the company paid its outgoing chief executive various entitlements plus a sum of $150,000, ostensibly for hitting some performance targets.

But Mr Eshuys is suing St Barbara for up to $1 million, which was the most he could receive for reaching performance-based goals.

He argues that while St Barbara under his management fell short of stated operating cost targets and gold production targets, the board did not fairly and reasonably take into account other factors.

Mr Eshuys yesterday told Justice Stephen Kaye that by December 2008, despite the setbacks and cash-flow figures being below budget, he believed the company’s position was improving and that by February 2009 it would have gone ”close to, if not exceed” the budgeted cashflow forecast.

A letter from Mr Eshuys’ lawyers to St Barbara’s lawyers in December 2008, which was tendered in court, contended Mr Eshuys ”is meeting the milestones” set out in his performance contract, namely gold production targets and the company’s cash position.

Asked by counsel for St Barbara, Philip Solomon, SC, what he meant by ”is” meeting the targets, Mr Eshuys told the court that at the time he ”fully believed that we would achieve them [the targets] by the end of February”.

Later he told Justice Kaye that in January 2009, ”we were short of budget but we were improving”.

The court heard St Barbara in mid-2008 raised $120 million through a rights issue, but some St Barbara directors and some of its shareholders were concerned about the suddenness of the raising. In February 2009 St Barbara again tapped the market to raise $75 million.

The court also heard that St Barbara’s woes in late 2008 and early 2009 coincided with rapidly rising Australian dollar prices for gold. Under cross-examination, Mr Eshuys conceded it was a ”poor” outcome that gold production fell 16 per cent short of budgeted figures between September 2008 and February 2009.

St Barbara, which is expected to begin calling witnesses today, argues it was not obliged to pay Mr Eshuys more than $150,000


Monday, January 10th, 2011


As long as there are no other strong material fundamental circumstances prevailing in any single commodity the dollar/commodity correlation overrides all else. This is especially true for precious metals. We remain bullish of gold although the trade is an overcrowded trade we see further upside given the level of geopolitical and economic uncertainty in the immediate future. We are convinced that the driving force behind gold’s strength is not inflation nor the dollar devaluation but the acceptance that gold has become the world’s third most popular ‘currency’ and that it will move past the euro soon and into second place. The euro will become less attractive to traders, investors and asset managers while their need to hold gold will grow.

We see any short-term weakness in gold as a buying opportunity supported by increasing uncertainty related to the euro-zone and rising inflation in Asia, particularly China.


World equity markets need a reason to rally – they may be getting their wish!

The Australian economy will continue to benefit from Asian growth during 2011 while Europe and the US limp along while dealing with their own problems. I expect a two speed global economy in 2011 with Chinese and Indian growth around 10% and Europe and the US at 2%.

A major structural change is under way in the global economy with emerging economies again set to outperform developed countries. The major risk to the global economy is still Europe, I expect more of the feared risks of sovereign debt to realise during 2011, possibly a major national default or a bank collapse.

Chinese Vice Premier Li Kuqiang has been touring in Europe and particularly Spain promising to purchase Spanish debt, a sign of the continuing expansion of Chinese influence around the globe.

Australia’s future will be reliant on our continued relationship with China, or Asia as a whole. We are well placed in the region and as long as we can maintain strong economic and business relationships with China we will continue to grow. China is at-tempting to engineer a soft landing after inflation has spiked above 5% and heading toward 7%. The inflation spike is directly related to their stimulus spending of 2009/2010 and should be seen as a window of what is to come in the US.

Chinese regulators will keep raising interest rates and imposing controls on property investment and speculation, such as the rumoured property tax. Inflation is now China’s number 1 concern but I cannot see Chinese regulators moving so aggressively as to cause a hard landing or a crash. Chinese politicians are about to handover leadership to a new generation and I don’t see the economy being compromised at this key political turning point.
Last year, India, quietly rose to become Australia’s fourth biggest economic market. India is expected to grow at close to 10% in 2011.

The two-speed global economy will create problems for governments and central banks. The US Federal Reserve is expected to keep rates low for ‘an extended period’, at close to zero, and press ahead with their QEII policy of buying assets in the hope of stimulating the economy.

The US government must start to reign in its massive debt eventually but I think those decisions will not need to be made until into 2012. The QEII program will extend at least until June 2011 and will support positive sentiment over the same period. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said he was prepared to consider QEIII if it was needed. They have painted themselves into a corner, now that they have come so far with the stimulative measures they cannot turn back. They will press ahead in the hope that at some stage soon the economy will show signs of stronger recovery, and that may be happening now. We sense growing optimism in the US recovery as each new release of data highlights an economy attempting to recover. The ADP numbers released last week changed a lot of minds about the strength of the US economy and set the stage for the Unemployment Report.

We sense growing optimism in the US recovery as each new release of data highlights an economy attempting to re-cover. The ADP numbers released last week changed a lot of minds about the strength of the US economy and set the stage for the Unemployment Report on Friday night. The ADP report showed that business (mainly small business) added 297,000 jobs in December. That number forced published unemployment ‘ guesstimates’ to be revised downwards. The market was expecting a fall in unemployment to 9.7% from 9.8% leading into the report.

We should note that the correlation between the ADP jobs report and the official employment report is not perfect, so ‘as goes the ADP number, so goes the non-farm’, just not perfectly. The ADP number is much more volatile on a month-to-month basis.

As it turned out U.S. payrolls missed the forecast adding credibility to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke comment that it could take ‘four or five more years’ for the labour market to completely mend. Payrolls increased 103,000, less than the median projection of 150,000. The jobless rate fell to 9.4% reflecting the shrinking workforce as Americans stop looking for work.

I still hold the very strong view that there can be no complete recovery in the U.S.A. without jobs; that is not to say that the current level of optimism in the U.S. is misplaced but without jobs the recovery picture will always be incomplete, a bit like a jigsaw with a missing piece.

The European Central Bank is not likely to raise rates from the current 1.00% in the near term and is most likely to come under severe pressure to continue to pump liquidity into the system to support Ireland, Spain, Greece and Portugal. The debt crisis in Europe will spread to Portugal, Spain, Italy and Belgium this year and as a result I expect a banking crisis. The key question in Europe is whether Germany will continue to be the main source of monies to pay for the bailouts. While the German economy is growing strongly and selling its manufactured goods to the Chinese they can afford to underwrite the bailouts but there are a lot of headwinds as Germany attempts to force EU members to get their houses in order.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha