Plea for calm over Ravensthorpe mine closure

28 Jan, 2009 09:24 AM
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Ravensthorpe shire councillor Ian Goldfinch said everyone needed to draw breath and take a step back from the emotion of BHP's mine closure.
Ravensthorpe shire councillor Ian Goldfinch said everyone needed to draw breath and take a step back from the emotion of BHP's mine closure.

RAVENSTHORPE Shire Councillor and farmer Ian Goldfinch said everyone in the shire needed to draw breath and take a step back from the emotion generated by BHP's decision to close the local nickel mine.

Mr Goldfinch said the mine was finished because it became too expensive to run and BHP was doing its best to resolve what was a "very testing and difficult situation".

"Everyone just needs to calm down because we are in unchartered waters and shooting from the hip is not really going to help anyone," he said.

Hopetoun's population has nearly tripled since the mine opened 10 months ago, with BHP encouraging its employees to build or move to homes in the area.

Mr Goldfinch said it was disappointing BHP had not been able to keep its original promise of keeping the mine open for 25-30 years.

He urged it was important to keep a cool head in a crisis and praised BHP for its work in the early stages, saying it was trying to find genuine solutions to the many difficult problems raised by the mine's closure.

He said BHP was looking at redeployment opportunities and encouraging workers to stay living in the area, but work on mines and facilities at other BHP sites around WA.

"The shire will go on, just with not as many problems or people in it," he said.

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