Global miner Glencore has taken a swipe at Australia’s mining giants, saying their mass iron ore and coal expansions had “cannibalised” revenue and hurt the economy.
Glencore itself had been the first to take the responsible path of stopping its own coal expansions, which was good for the Australian mining industry, coal chief Peter Freyberg told a Melbourne Mining Club lunch.
His comments came a day after US coal giant Peabody Energy said it would axe up to 210 jobs and cut production by nearly half at a north Queensland mine as it struggled with falling prices.
Glencore announced it would cut 80 jobs and production from its north Queensland Collinsville coal mine last week.
Mr Freyberg said Glencore was exercising market discipline, cutting mining output, combining some of its NSW coal operations with Peabody’s and putting its $7 billion Queensland Wandoan coal mine project on hold.
“After a period of much new production increases right across the industry in the boom times, Glencore was the first to say: it’s time to stop building,” he said.
The failures of the big miners’ iron ore expansions was clear because “the numbers speak for themselves”, Mr Freyberg said.
“If you go back a couple of years 500 million tonnes were being exported at $US100 a tonne to (currently) over 700 million tonnes in exports at $US60,” he said.
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