BHP cuts 100 WA jobs

BHP will slash about 100 jobs across its six Nickel West operations in Western Australia.

The company informed employees last week that a number of operational roles will be impacted.

BHP today told Australian Mining increased economic pressures and falling commodity prices will result in roles being cut as the company launches head first into its austerity measures.

“Continued global economic uncertainty, local industry cost pressures, depressed commodity prices and a strong Australian dollar continue to place pressure on our Nickel business,” a BHP spokesperson told Australian Mining.

A company spokesperson explained the company will cut jobs in an effort to improve productivity and efficiency.

“These measures are necessary to help the business remain competitive in the current environment,” the spokesperson said.

The company remains committed to working closely with employees affected, and said there may be a number of “redeployment opportunities”.

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The news comes off the back of a tough year for nickel operations which have been hit by plummeting commodity prices.

Since early February nickel has fallen from a height of $US8.5 per pound to just over $US6.5 per pound this month.

That said prices haven't hit the GFC depths of November 2008 when Nickel was trading at well below $US6 per pound, slightly dipping below $US4 at one point.

Last week Australian Mining reported BHP is moving to cut spending by 18 per cent in the 2014 budget.

Newly appointed BHP CEO Andrew Mackenzie said “substantial” cuts will also be made in 2015 and 2016.

A spend thrift agenda is on the cards for the country’s tier one miners with Rio’s new boss Sam Walsh also announcing earlier this year that the company will execute a raft of cost saving measures.

 Between the two mining giants it is expected a combined $10 billion of cost savings will slashed from operating expenses, reinforcing Australian Mining’s reports earlier this month that an abrupt halt in mining capital expenditure could send the country into a mining fuelled recession as the retail and housing markets struggle to fill the gaps during an economic rebalancing.

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