Rio Tinto cuts staff at Weipa

Rio Tinto is reportedly cutting more than 40 workers from its Weipa bauxite operations in Queensland.

The 41 workers are from a range of different positions, including management, professional, operational, and support roles.

The majority of the cuts – 22 – are support roles in operations and maintenance, according to the Cairns Post.

Rio stated the reduction is part of a move to lessen exposure to ongoing market volatility.

“We are working to red­uce costs across Rio Tinto in a challenging environment and to ensure our Weipa bauxite operations remain globally competitive,” a Rio Tinto spokesperson said, “Our focus is on providing all the support we reasonably can to the people who are affected.”

The cuts include new and long term workers.

According to Weipa operations general manager Gareth Manderson, the job losses and transformation this year are needed to “to build resilience ­irrespective of market cycle”.

“The work we have completed together over the past few years to improve our safety performance, productivity and cost position has positioned us well,” Manderson said.

“However, global market conditions, increased competitor activity and lower prices (particularly alumina) requires that we continue this work at an increased pace.”

It comes on the back of Rio Tinto’s posting of mixed first quarter results, and lowered iron ore guidance for 2017.


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