Jobs on line as mine halts production

JUST months after its first shipment, mining has stopped at a North-West iron ore mine and most jobs have apparently gone.

Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam said yesterday he was confident the Shree Minerals mine at Nelson Bay River would reopen.

Cr Quilliam said the council would this week ask the company for more information and if anything could be done, because jobs were important to the North-West.

He said the mine had about 60 workers, with the majority being contractors, and most probably lost their job with the shut-down late last week.

Shree Minerals has told the Australian securities exchange that the mine's third ore shipment was completed during last week but that mining had stopped.

``These measures (moves to conserve resource) include changes to certain parts of the production chain including mine development (waste stripping) and ore mining which are being suspended temporarily,'' the company said in a statement.

Cr Quilliam said the company had stopped mining because of the falling iron ore price and he was confident work would resume when the price returned to around $100 a tonne.

The company opened the mine in October last year after it was given the green light after several legal challenges from environment groups.

  The company's first shipment left the Burnie port in January.

Shree said last week that it planned to export iron ore over the first couple of years then produce an industrial mineral called dense media magnetite, used for washing coal.

The Perth-based company did not return calls yesterday.

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