Tuesday, 30 June 2009

CRL’s future mine plan: downsizing & job losses

Prior to its takeover by Unimin, Consolidated Rutile Ltd (CRL) announced major changes to its North Stradbroke Island sand mining operations.

In a May release to the stock market the company said it anticipated the mining operation at Yarraman would be completed in 2013 and its rig dismantled and taken off the island.

The Enterprise Mine would remain and mining of this resource would be extended by four years to 2027.

The company said it expected employee numbers would halve by 2014 as a result of these changes. CRL said should the Unimin takeover be successful, these changes would be subject to review by the new owner.

Friends of Stradbroke Island (FOSI) sees these changes as an indication of the marginal nature of sand mining on North Stradbroke Island.

They provide further evidence that the small gains in terms of jobs, royalties, input to the economy and local purchasing provided by mining is not worth the cost: plants and animals destroyed, dune systems, lakes and creeks damaged and vast tracts of the island locked away in mining leases preventing other recreational and conservation uses.