Rio Tinto coal mining cull claims new victims

Mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO) is cutting even more coal mining jobs in Australia, this time through its Australian Coal & Allied Industries unit, as the miner is struggling with a dramatic plunge in coal prices and a high Australian dollar.

Although the Anglo-Australian company has not confirmed the number of layoffs it will take place, ABC News is reporting that nine jobs are on the chopping block in the Hunter Valley and other coal mines in the New South Wales state.

A spokesman for the diversified miner told the Wall Street Journal on Monday that some roles “will no longer be required as Rio Tinto works to improve its competitiveness by reducing costs.”

The news comes only a week after the miner announced cuts across its coal mines in Queensland as the state raised its royalty rates.

In July this year a Rio Tinto spokesperson explained that a general review is underway and although the details are to be worked out, it would mean job loses.

Rio is also looking at selling some or all of its diamond mines, which currently include three operations: the 100%-owned Argyle in Australia, 60%-owned Diavik in northern Canada, and Murowa in Zimbabwe of which it has a 78% interest.

Rio Tinto operates a number coal mines in central Queensland, including Blair Athol near Clermont, and Kestrel near Emerald.

Other than a mine in Mozambique, Australia is the only country in the world where Rio Tinto operates coal mines.

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