Australia’s iron ore giants push workers to stay at mine sites to escape coronavirus

Australia’s iron ore giants are looking to reduce the threat to their operations from a coronavirus pandemic, by pushing workers to spend weeks on site away from families and relocate from the eastern seaboard, company and union officials said on Friday.

Rio Tinto , BHP and Fortescue are moving workers who would usually commute from major cities by aeroplane to stay on site for a minimum of two weeks, they said in separate statements.

Rio Tinto , BHP and Fortescue are moving workers who would usually commute from major cities by aeroplane to stay on site for a minimum of two weeks

Fortescue workers would move to a roster of two weeks on and two off, or four weeks on and two off, cutting staff movement by 40 percent for a “significant decrease” in risk, the world’s fourth biggest iron ore miner said.

The measures are expected to last for at least three and as many as six months.

“We recognise it is a big ask for our people to be away from families on a different roster pattern at short notice and we will do everything we can to support them during these difficult times,” Rio Tinto said.

Western Australia declared a state of emergency and closed its borders this week to all but “essential” workers.

Mine workers living in cities who fly in and fly out for work at remote mine sites were exempted, but a ban will take effect from Monday for such workers from Australia’s worst-stricken state of New South Wales.

Australia’s infection rate is slower than many other nations, but officials are concerned infections have accelerated over the last week and plan to deploy the military to ensure people comply with orders to isolate themselves.

Analysts have flagged an outbreak as a major threat to mine operations, particularly as staff work in close proximity in enclosed areas underground.

Western Australia accounts for more than half of global output of the steel-making ingredient expected to rake in A$101 billion ($61 billion) this fiscal year as the country’s top export revenue earner.

That role is particularly critical for the economy as Australia faces its first recession in nearly three decades.

Fortescue and Rio Tinto were pushing to accommodate workers near remote mine sites or Western Australia’s capital of Perth, but not offering adequate compensation, the state unit of the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union said.

“Only BHP has offered generous arrangements that would cover accommodation costs and recognize the impact on families if workers move west temporarily,” it said.

Rio Tinto declined to comment on compensation. Fortescue had no immediate comment.

All the miners said they were working to improve the safety of workers and mining communities. They are some of the biggest employers of indigenous Australians and many miners operate near remote communities.

Authorities see the virus as a major risk to some of those communities. as they are far from major hospitals and suffer a greater prevalence of underlying health issues.

News No: 8892
Date: 2020/03/28 - 14:29
News Source:

iron ore  Fortescue  BHP  Rio Tinto 


Leave a Comment:


Iron ore dominates Australian resource 2018-19 profits

Australian iron ore producers accounted for the largest share of operating profits in the entire resources sector, including upstream oil and gas and coal mining, during the 2018-19 fiscal year to 30 June. The resources sector, at 8pc of the economy, accounted for more than a fifth of all industry profits.

The CEO of Chadormelo Mining and Industrial Company emphasized Prosperity to produce and create jobs for talented young people

Referring to the role and position of this value-creating group in the production and economy process, the CEO of Chadormelo added: "Workers are the real capital of any production and industrial unit and certainly no development will take place in production, except with the efforts of workers."

Odisha: Serajuddin Mine Cuts Iron Ore Lump Price by INR 500/MT

Serajuddin- Odisha's major merchant iron ore mine has decreased iron ore lump offers by INR 500/MT (USD 7) effective from today (19 May'20). As per the market participants, miner has decreased prices to INR 3,500/MT (ex-mines, including Royalty, DMF, & NMET) as against last offer of INR 4,000/MT.

Sierra Leone detains five expatriate managers at iron ore mine

Five expatriate employees of SL Mining, a subsidiary of London-based Gerald International Ltd., were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of instigating unrest, the mining company said in a statement Saturday.

Iron ore price surges on Brazil covid-19 crisis

Iron ore prices were closing in on triple digits on Wednesday as optimism about a quick recovery in China, where more than half the world’s steel is forged, combined with supply fears from Brazil, the globe’s number two supplier.

Rio Tinto’s Kennecott starts drilling at Frisco

Rio Tinto’s (NYSE: RIO ASX: RIO) subsidiary Kennecott has kicked off an initial four-hole 2,000m drill program at Alderan Resources’ Frisco copper/gold/silver project in Utah.
Upcoming Events
 Mines & Metals

Mine & Business Today

 Scrap & Recycling


Our partners