The West

BHP Billiton is thought to be preparing to cut up to 200 mostly Perth-based positions from its iron ore team, just months after its high-profile move into the purpose-built Brookfield Place office tower.

A spokesman for the mining giant confirmed last night that it was about to "share the outcome" of a review of its iron ore organisational structure with staff and that there would be redundancies.

BHP occupies 34 of 45 floors in Perth's newest office tower and moved about 3000 staff from across various city locations into the new premises in June.

The commitment to Brookfield Place pre-dated the change in iron ore market conditions this year, which has prompted BHP to shelve its $20 billion plan for an outer harbour at Port Hedland designed to underpin a massive expansion of its Pilbara business. The decision to shelve the outer harbour has already cost hundreds of jobs among contracted engineering and design firms and _WestBusiness _ reported two months ago that BHP's next focus would be on cutting related internal jobs.

BHP would not discuss the scale of the job losses but pointed to 900 vacancies across its iron ore operations and a desire to fill some of those with employees whose jobs had been made redundant.

"Every effort will be made to redeploy impacted people across the business," the spokesman said. "BHP's belief in the longer-term attractiveness of the iron ore market remains unchanged.

"We have spoken for some time about the challenges facing the resources industry and we are not immune from the current global conditions."

The West Australian

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