Rio Tinto subsidiary Coal and Allied has started cutting jobs in the Hunter Valley in an effort to curb rising costs.
The company is currently reviewing all operations in the region and is targeting a cut back in its support staff.
The company has not confirmed the number of layoffs it's planning to make, but ABC News reports nine jobs are on the chopping block in the Hunter.
A Rio Tinto spokesperson told Australian Mining Coal and Allied was suffering from a dent in commodity prices and was cutting workers in order to keep its head above water.
“Coal & Allied, like others in the industry, has made it clear it is facing the challenge of increasing costs in an environment of significantly lower coal prices and a high foreign exchange rate," they said.
“We are working to improve our competitiveness by actively seeking ways to reduce costs across our business, which unfortunately means some roles will no longer be required.
“These are not decisions we take lightly. Jobs are being protected wherever possible and support is being provided for employees.”