March 30th, 2015

Barnett angry as Karara axes 70 jobs

WA Business, The West Australian
AAP, March 19, 2015

The falling iron ore price has claimed another 70 mining jobs and raised the ire of Premier Colin Barnett over the big miners’ decision to flood the market.

Junior iron ore producer Karara Mining announced it will cut 15 per cent of its workforce in WA as the steel-making ingredient slumped to a fresh six-year low of $US55 a tonne.

The job cuts are the latest in a series made by smaller high cost WA producers as the nation’s biggest iron ore players, Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group continue to boost supply to China alongside Brazilian giant Vale.

Perth-based juniors Atlas Iron, BC Iron, Mount Gibson and a host of mining services companies have recently shed hundreds of staff in a bid to rein in costs amid falling revenue.

Their plight prompted Mr Barnett’s government to introduce a 50 per cent royalty rebate for smaller miners to help keep them afloat after the iron ore price halved in the past year.

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