BHP Billiton’s Mozal
aluminium smelter
in Mozambique
 
Melbourne, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 23 February 2009 – BHP Billiton Limited – the world’s largest mining company – has announced that it is cutting about 40% of staff numbers at its headquarters as it moves some roles nearer to related mining operations.

Spokeswoman Samantha Evans said here today that BHP wants to reduce staff at head office to 350 by the end of June, down from 600 at the close of 2007. She declined to say how many staff work at the office now. Bloomberg News quotes the Australian Financial Review, citing unidentified people, as reporting that BHP may sub-let six floors of the building it leases, halving its commitment.

“There would be some job cuts,” Evans said, “but most of this is a result of relocating roles to other areas of our business. BHP’s steelmaking coal business will shift to Brisbane, where most of its operations are located,” she added. “Its energy coal unit will be relocated to Sydney.”

The company closed the Ravensthorpe nickel mine last month and reduced coking coal output by as much as 15 %. The future for metals demand remains uncertain, and BHP continues to review all operations, chief financial officer Alex Vanselow has stated.

BHP, Rio Tinto Group and Anglo American Plc are cutting jobs as the global recession curbs demand for commodities. BHP revealed last month that it would slash 6 000 jobs globally, after falling metal prices had forced the closure of some mines and output cuts at others.