Reefton coalmine downscaling

By Laura Mills

Francis Mining has notified the contractor at its Echo coalmine, near Reefton, that work on site may be about to slow down.
The Echo Mine is 10km south-east of Reefton, in the Garvey Creek coalfield. The open-cast produces a specialist low ash, semi-soft coking coal.
Francis Mining director Brent Francis said today it had coal in the ground to meet its contract, but was looking at a reduced workload.
Contractor Rosco Ltd may have to reduce its workforce, he said, although he stressed nothing was finalised.
Mr Francis said things were tough in the coal industry, which had been hit by falling international coal prices, and it was time to “batten down the hatches”.
However, the underground Roa Mine near Blackball, was “going fine”.
“There been a slight increase in production coming out of there. Sales are good.”
When Solid Energy mothballed its Spring Creek underground mine at Dunollie, Francis Mining said the drop in international coal prices was “all very predictable”.