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(Bloomberg) -- Glencore Plc’s Optimum Coal Mines unit may shut some operations, cutting annual output at least by half and affecting about 1,070 workers as export prices decline.

“The affected areas include the Optimum opencast operations, large portions of the coal processing plants, and associated support services,” Glencore said in a statement. A review was conducted due to “difficult market conditions and the continued deterioration in the export coal price,” it said.

Coal prices have fallen 29 percent since the start of 2014 and were at $60.50 a ton yesterday. About half of Optimum’s 10 million metric tons of saleable output a year is exported and the remainder goes to state-owned utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. for power generation. The company will continue to supply the Hendrina Power Station in Mpumalanga province, it said.

Optimum will discuss job cuts with unions and workers under South Africa’s labor law that regulates consulations and efforts to find other positions for employees.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in Johannesburg at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net Tony Barrett, Alex Devine

Bloomberg