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The New Zealand-based miner also plans to make redundant 137 permanent positions and 50 contractor jobs at the mine, it said in a statement late last week.

“On current pricing projections, we have to minimise our losses by reducing costs so that we can keep the mine operating,” ceo Dan Clifford said in the statement.

"While we are planning to continue with reduced production and reduced staffing levels for the next two to three years, we will still be able to meet our long-term customer contracts while retaining our options to respond to changes in the market," he added.

Several other productivity improvement measures, including changes to rosters and staff training, are either proposed or underway, according to the statement.

Stockton is an open-cut mine located 35km north of Westport on the west coast of the South Island.