Appin mine deal means 130 jobs under Mastermyne contract

Win for Mastermyne
Win for Mastermyne

About 130 mine workers laid off from South32’s Appin mine are likely to get work again with contractor Mastermyne, which has signed a new contract to supply underground services there.

South32 had terminated its labour supply contract with Delta SBD, leaving about 200 people without work according an estimate from the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).

But the union, and South32, were hopeful most of them would be picked up by another contractor. Under the $20 million deal revealed yesterday to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Mastermyne has emerged as the main contractor to do so.

Mastermyne said it would provide roadway development services under a contract which is expected to employ 130 people and deliver revenue of [about] $20 million per year. 

The Advertiser asked South32 about the other estimated 70 jobs, but a statement from a spokeswoman avoided the question.

“We are pleased an agreement has been reached with Mastermyne to supply development labour for our Appin operations as we work towards a return to production,” she said.

“Underground operations at the Appin colliery remain suspended. A review of the operation’s systems and operating practices is currently being undertaken to ensure its ongoing safety and reliability.”

The mine is currently subject to a prohibition order from the Resources Regulator after ongoing issues with gas buildup and problems with extraction equipment.

Mastermyne CEO Tony Caruso said he was pleased to extend the relationship at the Appin colliery.

“We look forward to delivering safe and productive outcomes for South32,” he said.

Mastermyne said its workforce would be boosted to about 280 people, with increases in peak periods.

Delta SBD, a major contractor in the southern coalfields, was placed under voluntary administration at the end of May.