21 Jan 2014

More redundancies at Otago gold mine

2:53 pm on 21 January 2014

Another 76 staff employed at the Macraes gold mine in Otago have found themselves out of a job about a week after being told cuts were likely.

Mine owner Oceana Gold told staff on 8 January that because of the present price of gold, the area of the pit which can be economically mined has to be reduced.

Oceana Gold's open pit mine at Macraes.

Oceana Gold's open pit mine at Macraes. Photo: SUPPLIED

Job cuts at the open cast mine, which has a lifespan of another three years, began to be announced in September 2013. They affected workers across the board, including machinery operators, miners and office workers.

Amalgamated Worker's Union secretary Calvin Fisher says after the announcement earlier in January, staff expected to have a month's grace but were instead told last Friday to leave the site.

"The crews came in and as they came in everybody received a letter with a pack which advised whether they had a job to continue or not. And those that didn't were bussed home."

Mr Fisher says the workers had hoped that the cost-cutting measures and redundancies made in September would have gone far enough to save their jobs.

More than 150 mine staff have lost their jobs since then. Mr Fisher says a meeting will be held this Friday with Work and Income to try to find jobs for the redundant workers.