London: Mining giant Rio Tinto will be slashing more than 700 jobs in Australia as the entity brings down production in the wake of falling demand.
The company in a statement on Tuesday said, it would cut about 100 permanent roles at Weipa and approximately 570 contractor roles in Gladstone.
“Additionally, approximately 35 permanent roles will be lost from the Yarwun refinery and at Boyne Smelters also in Gladstone”.
The firm said it would slow down the construction of the Yarwun alumina refinery expansion in Gladstone and curtail annual bauxite production at its Weipa mine to 15 million tonnes from 19.4 million tonnes in 2008. This is mainly due to the sharp fall in alumina and aluminium demand and prices in recent months.
Rio Tinto Alcan Bauxite and Alumina president Steve Hodgson said the depressed state of the market and a sharp cutback in demand made such tough decisions necessary.
Hodgson pointed out the current demand for aluminium remained poor and despite major industry-wide production cutbacks, stocks continue to increase.