Glencore Xstrata Plc and Sumitomo Corporation have signed an agreement to acquire Rio Tinto’s 50.1% interest in the Clermont thermal coal mine.
Glencore Xstrata Plc and Sumitomo Corporation have signed an agreement to acquire Rio Tinto’s 50.1% interest in the Clermont thermal coal mine. Peter Holt

Rio Tinto cutting jobs at Clermont

RIO Tinto has blamed low thermal coal prices and increasing market competitiveness for its decision to cut an untold number of jobs at its Clermont Mine.

"Rio Tinto is looking at ways to reduce costs at Clermont Mine to improve its competitiveness in an environment of significantly lower thermal coal prices," a spokesman said.

"A review is underway and although the details are to be worked out, it will unfortunately mean redundancies will be required.

"We do not take this decision lightly and are committed to keeping our employees informed and providing support to those affected."

The move follows comments this week from the resource giant's chief Tom Albanese that the company's investment program remained resilient in the market plagued by economic uncertainty in the US and the Eurozone.

"Global economic conditions and sentiment dropped markedly in the second quarter," Mr Albanese said.

"We're keeping a close eye on the pace of US recovery, the continuing Eurozone crisis and the impact of efforts to stimulate the Chinese economy on the markets that we serve."

The international conglomerate stalled expansion projects during the GFC, but coking coal production rose in the second quarter, according to its annual report.


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