Rio cuts 350 jobs

Rio Tinto has slashed 350 construction positions from its Argyle diamond mine.

The miner had planes waiting on the ground to take contractors off site within hours of breaking the news, according to The West.

The majority of workers were reportedly from Tenix and Killarnee.

It was likely a surprise to workers on site, as Killarnee still has advertisements for positions at the diamond mine.

Workers were furious at the move.

“Everyone was shocked, not even the bosses seemed to know it was coming,” a worker told The West.

“It started off like any other day and the next thing we know, we’re on a plane back home.”

While it has reduced numbers, none of the frontline mining staff have lost their jobs.

This is the second cut back of workers at the site in six months.

In September the miner announced it was cutting staff numbers by a fifth at the diamond operations.

This latest staff reduction comes ahead of Rio's release of its half yearly results, and during a period in which Rio is looking to offload its Argyle mine.