BHP cuts jobs at Nelson Point

Nick Evans and Mitchell Smith

BHP Billiton has cut more jobs from its Port Hedland operations as part of its iron ore division efficiency drive, with about 35 positions made redundant late last week.

BHP has been progressively culling positions at its Nelson Point port and rail facilities at Port Hedland over the past month, with more than 50 roles axed since last month.

It is understood BHP is seeking to cut at least 100 jobs from the facility, with more jobs likely to go before the end of October.

The latest losses come as a result of internal management reviews that have led to more than 500 positions being culled so far this year at WA's second-biggest iron ore producer.

A BHP spokeswoman yesterday confirmed a number of positions had been made redundant at Nelson Point last week and that further job losses were likely.

"BHP Billiton Iron Ore has spoken about its focus on safely increasing volumes and reducing costs through the more effective procurement of goods and services and people-related productivity initiatives," she said.

"In coming months, some employees based in Port Hedland will be impacted by changes to the structure and size of the workforce. We will discuss these changes directly with employees, who will be offered redeployment opportunities as and where possible."

BHP joins Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group in carrying out sweeping cost-cutting to boost productivity and protect profit margins amid a weak iron ore price.