UPDATE: Liquidators reveal extent of CQ mine collapse
THE receivers and managers are 'exploring all options to sell or restructure' the Cook Colliery mining business after it was placed into voluntary administration this week.
Receivers and managers Ben Campbell and Chris Hill of PwC confirmed 170 contractors had lost their jobs, with only 40 direct employees of the miner remaining employed.
"Currently, approximately 40 workers remain employed, representing all direct employees of the business. Once the mine was placed into care and maintenance, approximately 170 contractors were informed that continuation of their services would be subject to an ongoing assessment of resources required during the receivership period," a PwC spokesman said.
"The Receivers and Managers are working closely with all stakeholders, including employees and contractors, to ensure they are fully informed as the process advances. Further information is available to employees at www.insolvency.pwc.com.au.
"It is the intention of the Receivers and Managers to explore all options to sell or restructure the business. This process has only just commenced, and an update will be provided once the future direction of the company is known."
In the wake of the job losses, CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Stephen Smyth said workers at the mine had received little information about the mine owner going into voluntary administration.
He said Cook Colliery was owned by Bounty Mining but the operational workforce was contracted out to labour hire contractor ABM.
"News the mine owner has gone into administration is a terrible blow to workers in the week before Christmas," Mr Smyth said.
"To make a bad situation worse, workers have told us that they've received little information about what is happening.
"We are calling on the administrators and ABM to provide workers and the Union with full details about the current circumstances and what entitlements workers are owed.
"Unfortunately, because most of these workers are employed as casuals they are likely to get nothing but a door slamming shut behind them.
"This is a disgraceful state of affairs. Casualisation in our industry is out of control and it makes workers much more vulnerable, because they can simply be cut loose by the contracting firms at any time.
"The Union will do everything we can to support workers affected by this sudden closure."
INITIAL: SEVEN days before Christmas, about 200 workers have been left without jobs after Bounty Mining's Cook Colliery coking coal operation near Blackwater collapsed into voluntary administration.
News Queensland understands workers and contractors, including many from Rockhampton, Yeppoon and Emerald, were informed at an on-site meeting yesterday.
The mining company's downfall was also confirmed with an announcement on the ASX yesterday.
KordaMentha partner Jarrod Villani said Bounty Mining Ltd and its subsidiaries (Bounty), had appointed himself and Robert Hutson as administrations of the company.
"The appointment follows a period of depressed coking coal prices, production shortfalls in the wake of the previously announced roof-falls, and the inability of the board to source the additional funds required to support the company in its transition to place change mining," Mr Villani said.
In a separate announcement, Bounty's primary lender, QCoal Bounty Holdings Pty Ltd, appointed Ben Campbell and Chris Hill of PwC as receivers and managers of Bounty and its subsidiaries.
"Receivers and managers are now in control of the Group's assets, undertakings and operations, including responsibility for the day to day operations of the Group's business," Mr Campbell and Hill said in a joint statement.
"We intend to transition the Cook Colliery's operations into care and maintenance while we undertake an urgent assessment of the business and explore all options to sell and/or restructure the business for the future."