Rio cuts jobs at Clermont coal mine

Rio Tinto is reportedly cutting jobs at its new Clermont coal mine in Central Queensland.

A Rio spokesperson has stated that "a review is underway and although the details are to be worked out, it will unfortunately mean redundancies will be required," according to the ABC.

"We do not take this decision lightly and are committed to keeping our employees informed and proving support to those affected."

It explained that the company is looking for ways to reduce costs at Clermont and improve its competiveness.

Earlier this month Rio announced plans to cut costs globally by around 10%, although it did state that these cuts would be focused on the administrative side of the business.

The decision comes as thermal coal prices have tumbled dramatically by close to a third over the last year, moving from a high of $115 a tonne down to just over $80.

The miner has yet to say how many workers will be let go, however the mine only has a workforce of around 770 which is shared with the nearby Blair Athol mine that Clermont was built to replace.

Clermont was officially opened in November 2010.

Holding a 190 million tonnes of coal, the mine had an expected life span of 17 years with production expected to peak at more than 12 million tonnes per year of export coal and 100 thousand tonnes for domestic use when the mine was expected to reach capacity next year.

The mine had also recently signed a deal with QANTAS to add a new Clermont service, which would have seen four additional flights into the town each week, on top of the eight or so that currently fly from Brisbane.

There is no word on how this will affect Rio's previous pledge to find an additional 6000 workers for its upcoming prospects.


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