More than 200 workers on Tasmania’s West Coast are set to lose their jobs as the Avebury Nickel Mine shuts down.
The Zeehan-based mine is closing after being placed into administration last year and going into receivership due to its owners’ inability to pay debts.
“The last thing the region needed was for this mine to shut, especially when the economy is already struggling and many Tasmanian families are doing it tough with the cost of living crisis,” Shadow Resources Minster Shane Broad said.
“Labor would like to see other mines take on as many of these impacted workers as possible to help soften what will be a big blow.”
The closure is a devastating blow to the West Coast community, which is already grappling with economic challenges and uncertainty surrounding the future of its salmon industry.
Premier Jeremy Rockliff said Kordamentha, the receivers and managers of the mine, will transition it into care and maintenance due to a 50% decline in global nickel prices.
“Our Government stands ready to support affected workers and their families and the entire West Coast community,” he said.
“The West Coast is a resilient community and the local mining industry more broadly is performing well with a strong demand for workers.”
Resources Minister Felix Ellis acknowledged that the state was not immune to the “global nickel implosion” that is affecting mines across Australia and internationally.
He said affected workers and their families will receive support through this challenging time, confirming that the situation has been “complex” and ongoing for some time.
“Tasmania is already engaged with the Commonwealth and Western Australia as we work through a national production tax credit proposal for nickel, an important battery metal. Tasmania continues to urge the Commonwealth to include nickel on the critical mineral list,” he said.
The state government last provided support to the mine by letting them pay royalties over time, cutting a security deposit by more than $110,000, providing a refund of $300,000 for a renewable energy target exemption and funding exploration drilling.
An emergency support package of $800,000 was also offered in July last year, but Ellis said conditions for this funding were not able to be met.