Rio says to cut jobs at Mongolian mine after expansion delay

Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:04am EDT
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LONDON Aug 14 (Reuters) - Global miner Rio Tinto said on Wednesday it would have to cut up to 1,700 jobs in its Mongolian operation, after the more than $5 billion underground expansion of its giant Oyu Tolgoi copper mine was put on hold.

Rio announced the delay last month, after the Mongolian government said parliament would need to approve financing for the project. A Rio spokesman said the decision was now being implemented.

"There will be up to 1,700 redundancies for our employees and contractors," a Rio spokesman said.

"(Oyu Tolgoi is) still an operating business, exporting concentrate to our international customers, and infrastructure projects outside of the underground mine such as the road construction to Tsagaankhad will continue."

Rio said Oyu Tolgoi shareholders were still "fully committed" to resolving the issues holding back the underground development.