PanAust cuts jobs as price falls bite

AAP | The Australian

GOLD and copper miner PanAust is cutting 182 jobs and will further shrink its workforce later in the year.

The job cuts will come from across the company’s business, which is headquartered in Brisbane and has operations in Laos, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Chile.

The 182 job losses represent 5 per cent of the company’s staff, and are expected to reduce its annual costs by about $US15.5 million ($16.77 million).

Further staff reductions will occur later in 2015 through natural attrition and as employment contracts expire, PanAust said today.

“It is always a difficult decision to reduce staff numbers,” managing director Fred Hess said.

“These organisational changes are necessary to ensure our operations continue to remain competitive, and reflect the company’s priorities in 2015 of efficiency optimisation at existing operations and advancing the Frieda River Project towards a development decision.”

PanAust bought an 80 per cent stake in the prospective Frieda River copper and gold project in PNG in August 2014, and a feasibility study is expected to be completed in late 2015.

What is the future for the Frieda river?

As commodity prices fall what is the future for the Frieda river?

The company has been reviewing its operations with the aim of streamlining its business so they are sustainable.

Mr Hess said the company was now in an even better position to meet the challenges of falling commodity prices.

Further details on the progress of the company’s review will be provided in a quarterly business update on January 29.

PanAust made a profit of $US28.1 million in the first half of 2014, down 28 per cent from a year earlier.

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Filed under Exploration, Financial returns, Mine construction, Papua New Guinea

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