Rio Tinto's Blair Athol mine to close down

Blair Athol mine, 24km north-west of Clermont.
Blair Athol mine, 24km north-west of Clermont. Contributed

FRIDAY marks the end of an era for the town of Clermont.

After thirty years of influence in the town, Rio Tinto's Blair Athol mine will close down permanently.

Clermont Community and Business Group president Paul Breckon said the announcement of the closure earlier this year had had a noticeable effect on the community.

"It's the end of a era, Blair Athol has been part of the community for a long time so people are just sad," Mr Breckon said.

However, he said the end of the mine didn't mean the end for Clermont.

"It's a very resilient town, we're 150 years old next year," he said.

"We're trying to look at the positives and try and not linger on the downturn and the closure."

Rio Tinto announced its decision to close the mine on August 8, affecting the 170 staff and contractors on site.

About 30 will be kept for the parts of Blair Athol still used by the nearby Clermont Mine, including its coal handling and preparation plant.

Topics:  blair athol coal mine business clermont mining industry rio tinto

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