BHP Billiton
BHP Billiton announces further staff layoffs Reuters

Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton is axing 380 jobs in its Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine in South Australia, citing weak global environment for commodities.

Jacqui McGill, president of the miner's Olympic Dam Asset operation, said the job cut was primarily due to "the global challenges in the resources sector, and the need to transform Olympic Dam into a sustainable operation".

The company noted the staff layoffs come after a review of operations, and the implementation of the decision would come around mid-September. Nevertheless, some affected employees may be offered new positions.

BHP announced 140 redundancies at its corporate office in Adelaide in June. In addition, it scrapped 220 roles in January, including contractors and Olympic Dam staff.

The job cuts in Olympic Dam, which produces copper, uranium and smaller amounts of silver and gold, represent almost one tenth of the mine's workforce.

The Australian Workers Union (AWU) has been told 143 technicians, 137 scientists and engineers and 27 supervisors were likely to go, ABC reported.

Meanwhile, the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy said the job losses point to the cyclic nature of the resources sector.

While announcing its results six weeks before, BHP booked impairments and non-cash charges totalling $350m (£226m, €319m) to $650m, largely on its copper business. The amount included a charge of up to $200m for redundancies, mainly at its Escondida project in Chile.

The cuts at Olympic Dam will further impact South Australia's unemployment rate of 7.9%, the highest in the nation, according to the Australian.

On 7 August, BHP shares closed up 1.32% at 1,191 pence on London Stock exchange.