What happened to Rio Tinto’s plan to fill 6,000 mining jobs in four months? [opinion]

Earlier this year Rio Tinto announced, to much fanfare, a plan to fill 6,000 mining jobs in four months.

Since then some 3,000 jobs have been cut from the coal industry and serious doubts have been raised about China's demand for coal and iron ore.

Over the past few months Rio Tinto itself has made white collar layoffs and cut its contractor workforce in the Bowen Basin.

Now that the four month timeframe for its recruitment drive is over, Rio Tinto is dodging all the questions it can on whether it's managed to hire an extra 6,000 workers.

When it initially announced the ambitious plan Rio said most of the jobs would focus on the iron ore sector, which hasn't seen as much doom and gloom as the coal industry over the past few months.

Nevertheless iron ore has not been immune to the downturn, with Fortescue Metals Group announcing significant layoffs of its own earlier this month.

And while iron ore prices are now on the rise again mid to long term demand for the commodity is looking increasingly volatile.

Back in April The West Australian reported two thirds of Rio's 6,000 new jobs would be located on its West Australian iron ore sites, which leaves another third to fill unknown positions around the country.

But five months on, just how many out of the original 6,000 Rio's managed to hire, who they are, and where they've gone, remains a mystery.

The company refuses to field any questions on the topic, leaving open the option its initiative has been shelved as the coal industry continues to bleed jobs.

If anyone's heard anything about Rio's job drive, or been involved in the campaign personally, let us know editor@miningaustralia.com.au