Two hundred mining jobs will go in Western Australia, with the world's largest lead mine being placed into care and maintenance. Roslyn Hill Mining, formally Magellan Metals, operates Paroo Station near Wiluna, about 400 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie. It's been a stop-start existence for the mine. It was forced to stop production a number of times as a result of lead dust contamination at Esperance Port.
Resource analyst Peter Strachan said the number of environmental regulations that were slapped on the company, due to the spills and leaks it had, proved costly.And now the low price of lead has forced the mine to close. Lead prices have tumbled from a high of $2,300 US a tonne to below $1,750 US a tonne.
"It may well be something to do with slower growth out of China."
Mr Strachan said the mine can be placed into care and maintenance for as long as four or five years.
"It's not the end of the day for them. If the price of lead was to recover, with the Aussie dollar back, that provides a little bit of support, it may well come back."