Feature

Mine sackings to ease as coal prices recover

There is positive news on the mining jobs horizon.
There is positive news on the mining jobs horizon. Jacinta Cummins\Dalby Herald

MINERS may face a reprieve this year with sackings likely to finally stop as conditions improve.

It will be a relief for workers after seemingly endless rounds of cost-cutting slashed thousands of jobs from the sector in Queensland last year.

The price of coking coal - used to create steel - is likely to be dragged up from the depths, delivering mining giants the extra funds they struggled to earn last year.

The market sits at $156 a tonne for now, although industry forecasts suggest it will hover about $170 for most of the year.

This price remains at almost half of the peak coking coal hit in mid-2011, when it was selling for $312 a tonne.

That premium was due to supply of coking coal being obliterated by floods that ravaged the state.

HSBC chief economist Paul Bloxham said the good news, although mild, should stop the razor gangs in the sector.

"I think what we saw was a lot of nervousness about the fall of commodity prices leading to some lay-offs," Mr Bloxham told APN from the Philippines.

"I suspect we won't see too many further lay-offs."

In November last year, Queensland Resources Council chief Michael Roche estimated up to 5000 workers - from contractors to office staff - had lost their jobs.

Even now, with Mr Bloxham's cautious optimism, it will not be entirely smooth sailing.

ANZ Bank released a report yesterday showing a lull in job advertisements published in the three months to December last year.

This prompted the bank to suggest the national unemployment rate may rise slightly from 5.2% to 5.75% by the end of this year.

The HSBC economist said "heat" generated from China would again deliver work to our shores.

He pointed to what he called "the Chinese infrastructure story" to justify his confidence in the mining industry.

He said China was developing 27 subway systems and 80 airports as it redoubled its focus on growth.

"Given the slowdown in 2012, authorities want to pull forward these projects to get more support for growth," Mr Bloxham said.

"We're talking massive development."

Topics:  jobs, jobs news, mining




Malcolm Turnbull's high praise for Capricornia victory

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry meeting Malcolm Turnbull in Canberra.

Capricornia MP receives high praise from PM

BIG MOVE: Pat O'Driscoll reveals expansion plans

FRESH LOOK: Pat O'Driscoll Real Estate are moving into the first floor of The Rock Building Society.

Pat O'Driscoll expansion comes with new location.

Second fatal accident as safety campaign wraps up

SAFETY WEEK CRASH: A 57-year-old man was taken to Rockhampton Hospital with minor injuries after this crash on Canning St near the intersection with Fitzroy St.

Two fatal accidents have marred the end of Road Safety Week

Latest deals and offers

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa