​Top FMG excutive heads rolls

Fortescue have stood down top executives at the iron ore miner at it prepares to slash costs across the board.

Executive director Peter Meurs, director of shared services Peter Thomas, and director of health, safety, environment and security Isak Buitendag have all been confirmed as axed from the miner, according to The West.

The announcement comes just days after FMG moved to cut capital expenditure by around US$650 million as the price of iron ore languishes at six year loss

The company said it would look for savings by reducing exploration and focusing on efficiencies at the construction of Anderson Point Berth.

It also deferred the detrital processing plant at Solomon, and said it would target cutting other areas of operational capital spending.

Meanwhile FMG flagged its intention to "investigate alternative ownership and funding opportunities" for some of the $US275 million very large ore carriers (VLOC)it ordered earlier this year.

Predicted capital spend was previously forecast at $US1.3 billion and CEO Nev Power said the cuts were aimed at deferring investment which would increase supply into the market.

Workers were yesterday told Meurs will step down from his role for a short sabbatical.

However his status as a non-executive director and major shareholder remain unchanged.

According to a FMG spokesperson the shifting in roles was not a reaction to the iron ore price, rather “part of the normal evolution of our business”.

"We made the decision to restructure the senior levels of the organisation in a way that will allow us to be even more flexible and adaptive moving forward," they told The West.

Fellow iron ore miner Atlas Iron recently announced a decision to cut its execs’ pay by 15 per cent, and remove two board members as the iron ore price decline continues.

The iron ore miner announced that non-executive director Geoff Simpson and executive director Mark Hancock both offered to step down.

Hancock will remain an executive with Atlas as the chief commercial officer.

Kerry Sanderson left the Atlas board in September to become Western Australia’s first female governor, reducing the number of board members from nine to six.

The remaining members have offered to reduce their remuneration by 15 per cent as of December.

Atlas said its cost reduction program targeted $65-$90 million in annualised savings by June 2015.

Iron ore hit new lows of less than US$70 per tonne last week.

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