Hail Creek mine.
Hail Creek mine. Contributed

Hail Creek Mine to halt operations for major meeting

HAIL Creek Mine is allegedly stopping operations for one day on Monday, October 15 following Glencore's recent acquisition of the mine site.

The Daily Mercury has received reports all employees of the mine will attend a meeting at the Mackay Showgrounds on Monday to discuss the future of the mine.

It is unknown at this stage exactly what will be said at the meeting, however the Daily Mercury understands employees are concerned about job security as Glencore changes the business operations of the mine, previously owned by Rio Tinto.

In March, Glencore purchased Hail Creek coal mine and the Valeria coal development project from Rio Tinto for $1.7 billion.

The sale included Rio Tinto's 82.0 per cent interest in the mine and its 71.2 per cent interest in the Valeria project.

Since the purchase, Glencore has been conducting a review of its mining processes and organisational structures across the Hail Creek coal business.

In a leaked memo obtained by The Daily Mercury, Glencore has requested all employees attend a series of briefings on October 15, in which the company will set out the proposed outcomes of the review and how it may affect staff.

An initial opportunity for the plans to be discussed will be provided to employees.

The briefings will run in three groups, with staff briefed at 8.30am, followed by all coal mine workers at 10.30am and all contract workers at 1pm.

In a comment made by an anonymous coal mine worker to the Daily Mercury, it was alleged Glencore has a history of "huge lay-offs" and a meeting of this kind was virtually "unheard of".

As at 30 June 2018, Hail Creek Mine reportedly had a total of 1,689 employees.

Glencore was contacted to address the allegations but said they would not be providing any comment on the matter. The Swiss company is the world's biggest exporter of thermal coal used for power stations.