UPDATE 1-Glencore to close Australian coal mine due to low price
* Glencore to shut Tahmoor coal mine in Australia
* Says cannot justify operating due to low coal prices
* Plan is to close in early 2019 (Adds coal price, details)
SYDNEY, June 2 (Reuters) - Glencore will close its Tahmoor coal mine in Australia by early 2019, the latest example of low coal prices decimating the sector.
Glencore is one of Australia's largest coal producers running 18 mines and employing some 7,650 workers.
Glencore said it begun consultation with the 350 employees at the Tahmoor mine, which has been operating since 1979 and last year produced 2.1 million tonnes of metallurgical coal used in steel making.
"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," Glencore said in a statement.
Like other miners, Glencore has been hit hard by the collapse in commodity prices linked to slowing demand from China. It has also slashed production of copper and oil as well as cutting investment and costs.
Global metallurgical coal prices have dropped from more than $300 a tonne in 2011 to around $94 in step with weakening steel prices. Continuación...