BHP Billiton cuts 240 jobs, suspend Leinster nickel operation in Western Australia

BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company says it is likely to cut 240 jobs and plans to suspend its Leinster nickel operation in Western Australia due to the weakening demand for its products brought on by the global economic slowdown and deteriorating nickel prices.

The company said this would result in about 20 workers and around 220 contractors losing their job.

"Mining at the Rocky's Reward open-pit mine at Leinster nickel operation will be safely wound down and placed on care and maintenance,'' the company said in a statement.
"BHP Billiton will consult with and seek to maximise internal redeployment opportunities for its employees.

"Where redeployment is not possible, BHP Billiton will provide full entitlements and support services to employees and their families, including outplacement services,'' the statement said.

The company said in a statement that "Leinster nickel underground mining operations and the processing plant will continue to operate as normal."

This follows closely to the company's January announcement of cutting 6,000 jobs from its global workforce and plans of closing down its Ravensthorpe Nickel mine. (See: Billiton cuts 6,000 jobs; closes mine)