With a qualified Huntly East miner earning between $85,000 and $90,000 annually, 63 redundancies means about a $5.5 million hit for the economy, and most of the miners were Huntly-based.
Add to that the 60 contractors who have also lost their work at the mine, and the financial hit would easily double.
The mine workers were told about the proposed cuts by their employer Solid Energy at a meeting on Wednesday; late next month a final decision will be made.
"I can see there's going to be a big catastrophe," says Huntly Advice Centre and Social Service manager Lyn Tupaea. said.
"I can see a bad thing happening out there. I can already feel the tension."
Miss Tupaea has been working in the one-stop help shop for nine years. It was first established to help hundreds of miners made redundant in the 1980s.
She recognised the signs when trouble was brewing in the North Waikato town.
"Two mining families have already been in here this morning. That's the first thing I heard when I came in the door."
Up to 50 come to the centre for help each day, and they are already giving out three or four parcels each week to people who have exhausted their three Winz food parcel grants for the year.
Her advice to miners facing redundancy is to sort out a budget now, something she and her six dedicated staff will happily assist with.
The worst thing for the miners and their families at this stage was not know-ing what is going to happen, she says.
Along the street, Huntly Pharmacy owner Tim Walton has no doubt Huntly's retail sector will feel the pinch as miners are high earners and good spenders. "The proof is the last time (the miners) were on strike, all the retailers were quiet for the time they were on strike and for a time afterwards.
"It's the discretionary spending that goes."
When a miner loses his job "a partner and two children" also lose their spending power, he says.
"It's not a large town, so it's a large percentage of the big earners.
"It's not going to be an improving year."
Nola Lilley, a volunteer at the Salvation Army's The Huntly Family Store, was unsure if the redundancies would make them busier.
"We were talking about that this morning, but I don't know.
"It is terrible for the families."
Across at Les Kosoof and Sons cloth-ing store, assistant manager Vern Hall says the impact on the town going be huge.
Mr Hall echoes the widely-held view that held – that the miners will go to Australia.
According to information released by Solid Energy last year, staff turnover in the year to December 1, 2011 was 18 per cent, with many miners lured across the Tasman.
At that time, all staff were being replaced, but Mr Hall said there was now a feeling that experienced miners' jobs would be safe, it would be those newer workers who would face the axe.
Harcourts rural and commercial manager Stan Hickford has concerns but is remaining optimistic.
"We're a pretty resilient lot around here.
"Let's hope the impact won't be as big as we are thinking."
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