Mining giant BHP Billiton Ltd announced plans Wednesday to slash 6,000 jobs, or about 6 percent of its global work force, as the collapse in commodity prices.
Around 70 percent of the 6,000 job cuts will come from independent contractors that work its mines.
The world's largest miner said it will also close its giant Ravensthorpe nickel mine in Australia indefinitely and cut production at its Mount Keith nickel mine, writing off $1.6 billion. This will lower the company's output by 10-15 percent.
As a result, 2,100 workers and contractors would lose their jobs at those Australian sites by June.
The company's cuts forecasts a sharp turnaround in the fortunes of big miners as the worldwide economic slump affects the quantity large countries, like China, are consuming.
BHP Chief Financial Officer Alex Vanselow warned on Wednesday more mines could be closed given the uncertainty in commodity markets.
The world changed a lot since October. It's been a very steep and dramatic change ... Vanselow said, according to Reuters.
These are very serious types of decisions and we don't take them lightly, but at the end they are necessary and they are the correct decisions, he added.