LITHGOW experienced the most devastating loss to its mining industry in years on Tuesday afternoon with the announcement that the Angus Place Colliery is to be mothballed.
Mine operators Centennial Coal said that the action is part of a restructuring necessary in light of the prolonged downturn in international coal markets.
Angus Place currently employs 268 people and Centennial expects to relocate about 100 staff to the Clarence and Springvale Collieries which the company says are not under threat.
The Angus Place blow comes on top of last week's rejection of the Coalpac project at Cullen Bullen which had the potential to create 80 jobs.
The announcement creates a distressing scenario for mining families in the lead up to Christmas and beyond.
Centennial said in an announcement this afternoon that production is to be increased at both Springvale and Clarence while Angus Place will be placed on a care and maintenance.
The company plans at this stage to reopen Angus Place in 2023 when Springvale reserves are exhausted, or earlier if market conditions improve.
Angus Place has been a major supplier over the years to the nearby Mount Piper and Wallerawang Power Stations.
Earlier this year, the new owners mothballed the Wallerawang Power Station in response to dwindling demand for electricity.
Well this news will just about devastate Lithgow. Not only does it effect the miners & their families, it effects every business or associated industry from the contractors employed by the mine, the services industries that the mine uses, the transport industry, retail & possibly our schools as some families are forced to look for employment elsewhere. This will shatter Lithgow's economy. I have to wonder what forewarning our Local, State & National politicians had prior to this announcement being made? - Margaret Griffiths
This is terrible for the town, big visions are needed now. Council needs to look at what they can attract to town , an international airport would out do anything. But something needs to be done, I thought that the mining tax being cut was meant to save these jobs? I have been looking at China and they are in the middle of an industrial boom, thanks to Abbott making deals we now will see more jobs go off shore. - Gina Nyitrai
First the 'Wang Power Station, and now Angus Place. Time for our elected representatives, Paul Toole and John Cobb, to step in and do something before our community is buried under this recent tsunami of job losses. - Marian Matchett
After seeing so many solar panels being installed on roofs in the area, I can't help but wonder how many of those home owners will be affected by this sad news. - Catherine Rookyard
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