Rumours have emerged that Rio Tinto is eyeing a fresh round of redundancies at its Australian coal mines.
The Australian reports up to 100 coal jobs may go as soon as this week as the company continues to cut costs and wind back less profitable projects.
Rio has not confirmed the plans, but has repeated statements that the coal industry is facing a “significant challenge to remain globally competitive” due to lower commodity prices, higher costs, and the strong Australian dollar.
Earlier this month both Rio and BHP Billiton announced plans to sell off a number of assets in order to strengthen their portfolios and reduce debt.
Rio's new CEO Sam Walsh previously earmarked reductions to the company's coal assets, and said energy boss Harry Kenyon-Slaney would be making “tough decisions” about each operation.
“Under Harry Kenyon-Slaney's new leadership I expect significant new steps to be taken, costs to be cut and under-performing operations to be closed or divested,” Walsh said in an investor call last month.