Iluka cuts 200 jobs

Mineral sands miner Iluka has announced plans to cut up 200 jobs, with most of the reductions felt in its contractor workforce.

The company made the announcement after posting a $363.2 million drop in 2012 profit, down from $541.8m in the previous year.

Iluka said the move to cut jobs was part of a wider drive to cut costs, and managing director David Robb said more workers could be hired once commodity prices improve.

As part of the cutbacks a synthetic rutile kiln in Western Australia will be shut down, and another kiln in WA will also be idled.

The company said rosters would also be reduced in Victoria and the United States.

“As part of the measures outlined, approximately 200 positions within Australian operations will be made redundant, with additional actions in train to reduce costs in corporate, support and contracting areas,” Robb said.

“The actions to curtail production are being implemented as a consequence of the weak market conditions which prevailed in 2012 and resulted in Iluka production volumes exceeding sales for the year.”

“While measures were taken to curtail production in 2012, prudent planning for a gradual recovery in demand through 2013 means that further actions to reduce production and lower costs are necessary.”

Last month the company cut 65 jobs at its Eneabba mine near Perth and said it was reducing rosters at several other operations.

Robb said while the company had fallen on hard times he was optimistic the low cycle in mineral sands prices was near and demand would soon be on the rise.

Iluka is the largest zircon producer in the world and is also the second largest producer of high grade titanium dioxide minerals.

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