World-leading grinding media manufacturer Molycop will end steelmaking at its site at Waratah, near Newcastle, and make 250 positions redundant, according to a report on Thursday morning.
According to The Newcastle Herald, steelmaking would be put on “care and maintenance” in a restructure and the workforce of 540 on site reduced by 250.
Molycop, which has been owned by private equity firm American Industrial Partners since 2016, said it will continue to manufacture grinding media, rail wheels and other specialised steel products at Waratah. It would “also expand investment in its core consumables product lines, as well as its Molycop 360 and Molycop Process Optimisation businesses” according to the article.
Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) Newcastle lead organiser Brad Pidgeon told the Herald there was no consultation prior to a meeting this morning.
“A lot of it is to do with costs, it’s cheaper to import steel from overseas,” said Pigdon.
“Our concern when we talk about our sovereign capability and bringing back domestic manufacturing is that if we look at things Molycop produce, like rail wheels, it’s our preference for those to be manufactured out of Australian made steel as opposed to imported steel.”
Molycop, originally Commonwealth Steel, celebrated its centenary in 2018.
It was formerly part of collapsed steel company Arrium, and sold off to AIP in 2016.
Earlier this year, it was reportedly meeting potential investors and planning an IPO.
Picture: credit Molycop