September 29, 2016 / 6:38 AM / in 10 months

Anglo American eyes job cuts at Australian coal mine

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The Anglo American logo is seen in Rusternburg October 5, 2015. Picture taken October 5, 2015.Siphiwe Sibeko

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Global miner Anglo American (AAL.L) on Thursday said it had opened talks with workers and unions on a proposal to cut 90 jobs at its Capcoal coking coal mine in Australia, where industrial work stoppages have been underway since August.

Anglo American, in the process of selling off its coal mining business in Australia to pay debt, said consultation was needed to "address a challenging commercial environment and unplanned delays to production", despite increases in coal prices.

Coking coal prices have more than doubled since January, with traders on Thursday quoting spot prices of around $200 a tonne. The last time coal prices were this high was 2012, when flooding cut off a third of the world's supply from Australia.

The 6-million-tonnes-per-year Capcoal colliery has been operating at reduced production levels since mid-August as both sides sought unsuccessfully to reach a settlement on a new enterprise bargaining agreement.

Glenn Power, vice president of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union called on Anglo American to immediately retract its position.

Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Michael Perry

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