The company has commenced consultation with Tahmoor’s workforce in order to close the mine by 2019.

Commissioned in 1979, the mine produced 2.1 million tons of saleable coking (metallurgical) coal last year.

As part of the shutdown move, the company plans to reduce the workforce of 350 gradually over the next 18 months, asdevelopment work at Tahmoor mine is completed.

Glencore said in a statement: "The decision has been made as a result of continued low prices in global coal markets, which has meant the economic return from reserves still available at Tahmoor are not sufficient to warrant the investment required to mine them."

The closure decision comes after completion of assessment of various options by the company including the proposed Tahmoor South and Tahmoor North projects.

It stated that, the existing market conditions are not supportive to continue operations.

Glencore said it will assist its employees by investigating opportunities for their redeployment at its other coal operations.

The Tahmoor underground coal mine is situated in the Southern Highlands Region of New South Wales located just south of the Tahmoor township and about 75km south west of Sydney.

Operating in the Bulli coal seam, the mine majorly produces hard coking coal and also produces small amounts of steaming blend coal.