Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rio Tinto to cut 14,000 jobs

Rio Tinto Group will cut 14,000 jobs worldwide and reduce capital investment as part of new measures to reduce its debt amid waning demand for iron ore and other metals, the mining company said on Wednesday.

The job cuts, accounting for 12.5 percent of the company's 112,000-person work force, and reduction in operating expenditure are expected to save at least 2.5 billion Australian dollars ($1.6 billion) a year by 2010, the London-based company said in a statement.

Rio Tinto also said it will try to sell ``significant assets'' that were not previously listed for sale in order to reach its goal of trimming AU$10 billion ($6.6 billion) from its debt by the end of next year.

Rio Tinto has offices in 40 countries, with most of its employees in Australia and North America, as well as significant operations in South America and southern Africa. It employs 97,000 people directly in addition to 15,000 contractors, or people on short-term contracts. The job cuts will mostly be on the contractor side, where 8,500 positions will be eliminated.

he world's second-largest aluminum producer stressed it remains committed to its strategy of finding, developing and operating large, long life, low cost mining assets.

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