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Aurizon, Peabody are the latest to announce job cuts

The end of the mining boom continues to put the squeeze on Australian workers with the announcement of more job cuts across the resource sector.

Aurizon (ASX: AZJ), the Queensland rail freight company previously known as QR National, last week held an analyst and investor presentation day. Aurizon is looking to implement over $230 million in cost saving initiatives as it streamlines its operations post-government ownership. The cost saving are believed to include $130 million in labour cost savings and comes on top of the 1,600 jobs the company has already cut over the past two years.

US-based Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), which has coal mining operations in Queensland and NSW, is reported to have reduced its Australian work force by 170 positions. It comes just a month after Peabody cut around 450 contractor positions across its operations. According to The Australian, total job losses in the past year across the coal industry are now over 11,000.

Of course while the coal sector has been at the centre of many of the job cuts, the dramatic fall in the gold price has also taken its toll, with gold miners forced to reduce their operating costs. Kingsgate Consolidated (ASX: KCN) is implementing a plan to reduce costs at its Challenger mine by 30% which is expected to lead to numerous job loses. Gold mining giant Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) has also moved to lay off staff.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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