Workers at Whyalla’s SIMEC Mines face a heavy loss in hours or redundancy with leaked documents revealing hematite resources will be fully exhausted within 18-24 months.

GFG Alliance announced in early May about 56 workers between its contractors Golding and SRG could be made redundant as operations for mining the iron ore slow down.

According to a memorandum sent to workers and leaked to the ABC, Golding will slash at least 38 roles “as soon as practical” with “further reductions also expected”.

AWU acting state secretary, Gary Henderson.(Supplied: Australian Workers Union)

Australian Workers Union acting state secretary Gary Henderson said members could be made redundant as early as June.

“It’s a definite shock to people, especially people that have been employed for a considerable amount of time,” he said.

“The hematite was always going to come to a stop at one point, the company probably needed to be exactly sure when this is going to happen.

“They’ve left it off to making a decision for as long as possible.”

Those facing redundancy may be redeployed to another Golding mine. However, all alternative projects are based in Queensland.

Whyalla Steelworks is owned by British billionaire Sunjeev Gupta, executive chairman of GFG Alliance.(Australian Story: Ben Cheshire)

Mr Henderson didn’t know how many workers were fly-in fly-out (FIFO) but said: “Most people would have their roots set up in Whyalla.

“There’s limited availability for redeployment, but they have committed to try.”

According to Golding’s memorandum, “all transfers will be by mutual agreement”.

“We understand this would be a substantial move from SA to Queensland and will not suit everyone’s personal circumstances,” the memorandum said.

Transition to┬ámagnetite can’t come soon enough

Those who retain their job with Golding will still face hardship as the mines transition from a 24-hour operation to an eight-hour day shift from August 1.

Mr Henderson said workers could see their wages drop by about 25 per cent at minimum, and he hoped proposed magnetite mining would become operational soon.

“The sooner that comes on board, the better,” he said.

Sanjeev Gupta with the Whyalla steelworks production line behind him.(ABC News: Nick Harmsen)

GFG Alliance received positive results from testing of Whyalla magnetite in direct reduction iron plants in Canada and Egypt.

“Both of them yielded the best results the industry has seen so far, proving that Whyalla’s magnetite really is the best in the world,” mine owner Sanjeev Gupta said.

However, the “transition” to green steel, planned for 2025, has now been pushed back to 2027.

Golding Contractor and SRG were contacted for comment.