BHP Billiton: Job cuts loom at Australian operation

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BHP Billiton might cut jobs at its Worsley Alumina operations in Australia after a review of the business, the largest diversified mining company said yesterday. The review follows last year’s completion of a $3 billion (R31bn) expansion of the site that former chief executive Marius Kloppers was reported to have called the biggest mistake of his tenure. A weakening of alumina prices was among the factors that forced BHP Billiton to book a $2.2bn gross impairment against Worsley in the the six months to December 2012. The group has listed its aluminium division among its non-core businesses and said it would consider options such as the sale or a spin-off of unwanted assets into a separate company. “With no new projects planned for the next five years, the organisational structure of Worsley is under review. This includes reviewing the nature and number of roles needed to support safe and efficient production and ensure Worsley has a sustainable future,” a spokeswoman said yesterday. “We don’t intend to provide any detail about specific adjustments, but clearly there may be some impact on jobs in some areas.” – Reuters

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