Hundreds of workers will be left out of work in the run-up to Christmas following the closure of a New South Wales mine.
Around 200 workers at the Rasp mine in Broken Hill, in the west of the state, will be directly affected by its closure at the end of the month.
The Mines and Energy Union said it was trying to secure alternative employment for dozens of employees who face being made redundant if the mine is not sold.
The union said the timing of the closure, set to begin on November 30, just weeks before Christmas, was “unfortunate”.
Broken Hill’s Rasp mine is set to close at the end of November, affecting around 200 workers
“The union will do some legwork to see if we can find potential jobs for our members and for the broader workforce,” union representative Todd Ferguson told the ABC.
“From what I understand, Rasp is still a viable mine… it’s possible someone will come and buy it.”
The people of Broken Hill, accepting this enormous loss, are said to have rallied behind the workers and their families.
Peter Nash, a local trader, said the shock decision risked affecting the region’s economy.
“It’s going to be a difficult and worrying time for people,” he told ABC.
“Six weeks before Christmas is never ideal either.
“A lot of our local businesses rely on the Christmas trade, and this puts a bit of a damper on that.”
Mr Nash said the closure was “disappointing” but residents “should also be very grateful to have been in the Broken Hill community for 10 to 15 years”.
Broken Hill residents reportedly gathered around Rasp mine workers and their families (photo: Broken Hill stock image)
Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast has called on workers and their families to seek help as they come to terms with this devastating news.
“For people who are worried about a family member or loved one, Lifeline’s first advice is always to check in,” said chief executive Robert Martin.
He said financial advice and guidance was available for people concerned about their income and debt.
Last month, mining giant Glencore announced its Mount Isa underground mine in north-west Queensland would close within two years, citing poor ore quality and aging infrastructure.
The closure of one of the world’s largest copper mines will impact the mine’s 1,200 workers and have a dramatic knock-on effect on the 18,317 residents who call Mount Isa home.
Community leaders have pledged to rally with residents to ensure the mining town is not wiped off the map, with new mines earmarked for the area.
Dail Mail Australia has contacted Rasp Mine owner CBH Resources for comment.