Rio Tinto Alcan, the aluminium division of Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto, said on Jan. 20 it planned to reduce its global workforce by about 1,100 staff because of the economic slowdown. "Plans are in place to reduce the workforce by approximately 1,100 roles -- 300 contractors and 800 employee roles," Rio Tinto said.
"In addition, substantial cost reduction programs are being implemented across all Rio Tinto Alcan facilities."
Anglo-Australian company Rio Tinto bought Canadian aluminium group Alcan for $38.1 billion in 2007.
Rio Tinto Alcan said that "in response to global economic conditions," it would cut its aluminium production by 6% and shut the Beauharnois smelter in Quebec. The facility, which employs 220 people, will cease smelting activities in the second quarter of 2009, it added.
"Our goal is to align production with customer demand and reduce our operating costs as much as possible," Rio Tinto Alcan chief executive Dick Evans said. "We are taking steps towards optimising our world class portfolio of low cost, long life assets, the majority of which are in the lowest half of the industry cost curve," Evans added.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009