A joint venture between Sinclair Knight Merz and Fluor has been forced to cut a third of its workforce as BHP halts its Pilbara expansions.
The WA engineering contractors have cut around 500 jobs from its 1400 strong workforce, according to The West.
BHP has been rumoured to be cutting jobs in the Pilbara since last month.
In August speculation mounted that BHP Billiton was eyeing job cuts in the Pilbara and was looking to shelve its Port Hedland outer harbour development.
At the time a BHP spokesperson told Australian Mining there was only "speculation" and little basis to rumours of Pilbara job cuts.
"All we would say is that against a backdrop of increasing costs and falling commodity prices, we continue to focus on reducing our overheads, operating costs and non-essential expenditures to ensure our assets are well positioned on their relative cost curves," the spokesperson said.
"This includes reviewing our overhead costs and the sequencing of our major projects."
It came only weeks before BHP announced the mothballing of its massive Olympic Dam expansion plans.
The majority of the workers let go in the Pilbara will be draftsmen and contract engineering with the FAST joint venture.
It comes on the back of Fortescue Metals Group's announcement yesterday that it would be slashing its workforce at its existing operations, and today announcing it is selling off its Solomon iron ore mine's power station.