Swiss miner Glencore says it might close more Australian mines if weak commodity prices persist, with the Murrin Murrin nickel mine in Western Australia the next probable candidate.
Glencore has already shuttered 15 per cent of its Australian coal production and reduced production at its Queensland zinc mines, and the company’s chief executive Ivan Glasenberg has said he was committed to shutting more mines if they were not making money.
Mr Glasenberg said only two mines in Glencore’s global portfolio were not profitable at current prices and Murrin Murrin, which is held in Glencore subsidiary Minara Resources, was one of those.
“At current price levels Minara is not cash positive and that is an asset which is under constant review,” he said.
“If we believe the nickel price maintains these types of levels, it is an asset that will get reviewed and could potentially be put on care and maintenance.”
Nickel prices have almost halved, from $US16,675 a tonne to $US8525 a tonne over the past year. The collapse is even greater over the past 19 months, during which time nickel prices have fallen 60 per cent amid a global over-supply of product.
Murrin Murrin was the scene of mining billionaire Andrew Forrest’s biggest corporate failure under the umbrella of Anaconda Nickel.
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