Jobs go at Rio’s Hunter Valley Operations

Rio Tinto subsidiary Coal & Allied is set to shed jobs at its Hunter Valley Operations, with 30 roles from its workshop and warehouse on the chopping block.

A source close to the matter told Australian Mining the jobs would be cut by November 30.

Operational roles are said to be safe for the time being.

A Rio Tinto spokesperson confirmed the job cuts, blaming the move on challenging economic conditions.

“We are actively seeking ways to reduce costs and improve productivity, including this restructure at our Hunter Valley Operations mine,” the spokesman said.

“We understand that people will have concerns about what these changes mean for them and we are providing support for anyone who is affected.”

The decision comes as Rio pushes ahead with plans to slash its operating and support costs by $4.81 billion.

Chief of the company, Sam Walsh, has previously said divestments, the sale of non-core assets and the reduction of operating costs would all centre in the company’s efforts to improve its bottom dollar.

This year the company has cut jobs at its WA iron ore operations, 500 positions went from its Argyle diamond mine while positions have also been axed from the miner’s other Hunter Valley coal projects.

Its Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia has axed 1700 workers, while the company’s head office in London saw 200 people depart.

In operation sales, the company’s Blair Athol mine has been sold, along with the its 80 per cent stake in the Northparkes copper mine.

The miner is also looking to sell down its 80 per cent stake in Coal & Allied to 51 per cent.

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