The wait for more information about the scale of Oceana
Gold's cutbacks may be damaging local contractors' businesses,
a Dunedin business leader says.
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie
yesterday urged the mining company to act quickly in its
A cloud of uncertainty has hung over Oceana Gold contractors
since Tuesday when the company announced a prolonged drop in
the gold price had forced it to cut its open-pit workforce by
more than 100 staff over the next two years, in a bid to
A decision on the precise number of jobs to go will be made
later this month, following consultation, leaving some
contractors in the meantime unable to make any major
Mr Christie said for those in the dark about the changes, it
was potentially harmful for their business and he urged
Oceana Gold to provide certainty as soon as possible.
''Uncertainty is sometimes worse than dealing with reality.
''It will be difficult for them to make any important
business decisions until they know.
''The sooner they are informed about what the outcome might
mean for their business, the more certainty that will provide
them,'' he said.
As a direct result of Tuesday's announcement, Gough Group
announced 39 on-site mechanics who serviced vehicles at
Macraes would be laid off next Friday.
But other contractors are waiting for the completion of
Oceana Gold's consultation on the ''re-optimised'' Macraes
mine plan, which is expected to affect about 25% of the
company's 560 workforce, which included contractors.
Palmers Mechanical manager Craig Stringer said it was a case
of wait and see for the Dunedin business.
He believed it could be two to three months before the full
impact would be known.
''We don't know if we will lose a lot of business. No-one
knows at this stage.
''We are certainly very concerned about how it will impact on
Farra Engineering chief executive John Whitaker, SGS New
Zealand business manager Hugh McMillan and a Joyce's
Contracting spokeswoman said their businesses were in a
Mr Whitaker said the work the Dunedin firm undertook for
Oceana Gold was more ''project-based'', but he was also
concerned about how the cuts would affect the number of
construction projects it carried out at the mine.
BP external affairs manager Jonty Mills said while it was
difficult to gauge how much demand for fuel would decrease,
it was unlikely to affect jobs at BP because it would simply
be a matter of sending less fuel to the site.