Rio Tinto will optimise operations to reduce costs

26 February 2015 (Last Updated February 26th, 2015 18:30)

Rio Tinto has announced new cost-cutting measures such as streamlining its product groups and corporate functions.

Sam Walsh

Rio Tinto has announced new cost-cutting measures such as streamlining its product groups and corporate functions.

As per the new arrangements, the mining company's asset portfolio will be condensed into four divisions of aluminium, copper and coal, diamonds and minerals, and iron ore.

The new copper and coal division is expected to bring the company's coal operations in-line with the existing copper portfolio, while the aluminium and iron ore division will remain untouched.

Uranium will be added to the diamonds and minerals division, under the leadership of product group chief executive Alan Davies.

Energy chief executive Harry Kenyon-Slaney will leave the business following Rio Tinto's restructuring process.

"These changes are part of our continuing business transformation to reduce costs, simplify and strengthen our company."

As part of an ongoing optimisation programme, various key corporate functions will be modified to save money and improve effectiveness.

Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh said: "These changes are part of our continuing business transformation to reduce costs, simplify and strengthen our company and deliver sustainable value for shareholders.

"Our coal and uranium assets remain a part of our world-class portfolio. We will work hard to ensure there is a smooth transition for our colleagues in the energy product group and continue to maximise efficiencies in our coal and uranium operations.

The new arrangements will come into force with immediate effect, the company said.

In a separate announcement, a spokesperson for Rio Tinto told Sky News Business that the company plans to make redundancies in its iron ore operations in Western Australia, citing a downturn in the commodity cycle.


Image: Rio Tinto chief executive Sam Walsh. Photo: courtesy of Rio Tinto.