BHP reviewing iron ore operations

Major miner hires consultants to focus on cost reduction, productivity.

BHP Billiton is continuing to review its iron ore operations, hiring external consultants to look at costs and productivity.

A spokeswoman for the major miner told Business Spectator the company regularly undertakes organisational reviews as part of an ongoing focus on productivity and cost reduction, and has hired external consultants to assist with the process.

The ABC reports that up to 3,000 jobs could go from BHP's iron ore division, but the miner said it had not confirmed any numbers or targets.

The news follows the axing of about 170 staff at BHP's Newman operations this month and the shedding of about 100 staff at its Perth headquarters.

A sharp fall in the iron ore price in recent weeks has placed miners under pressure. The commodity dipped as low as $US89 a tonne last week, but has recovered somewhat to be trading at $US93.40 a tonne this morning.