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Depressed coal prices force job cuts at Rio Tinto’s mine

Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) is looking to reduce costs at its Australia’s Clermont Coal Mine, in central Queensland’s Bowen Basin, driven by falling coal prices.

“A review is underway and although the details are to be worked out, it will unfortunately mean redundancies will be required,” a Rio Tinto spokesperson said in a statement to AAP Thursday.

He added Rio doesn’t take decisions like this one lightly, adding that the company is “committed to keeping our employees informed and proving support to those affected.”

The Anglo-Australian miner has been conducting a cost review across its global business, resulting in corporate and operational changes. Recently the diversified miner hinted at its intention of leaving several aluminum related businesses, including a bauxite mine, an alumina refinery and several smelters in Australia and New Zealand.

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 also has an advanced diamond project in India.

Last week, Rio’s long-standing Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Guy Elliott, announced he would retire at the end of 2013, along with a few other senior management changes.

Clermont Mine was opened in 2010 and has a shared workforce of about 770 with the company’s nearby Blare Athol Mine.