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Thiess to cut workforce at Xstrata coal mine in Australia by February 2013

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Australian construction, mining and services contractor Thiess will relieve nearly 95 employees off their duties at a coal mine in Australia that belongs to Switzerland-based diversified group Xstrata.

The job cuts are expected to be announced by end of January 2013 and reflect the shrinking profits and high operating costs in the mining sector.

Mining jobs in East-Australia have witnessed a severe downturn in 2012 as companies look to bring down operating costs.

A Thiess spokesman remarked that a workforce reduction was unavoidable under the circumstances and that the company would redeploy many employees at the open-cut Collinsville mine in northern Queensland to other projects.

Earlier in September 2012 Xstrata expressed its intentions to cut 600 jobs at its coal mines and regional offices due to low coal prices in addition to a strong Australian dollar.

Xstrata's coal division spokesman Francis De Rosa stated, "Due to the downturn in coal prices we have been working with Thiess to review mining operations at Collinsville and, as a result, we expect 95 Thiess positions will be made redundant."