PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Mining major Rio Tinto has relocated more than 700 of its staff with "specialist skills" to Perth from interstate as the Western Australian government put in place a hard border.
Premier Mark McGowan last week announced that while interstate fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers would be allowed into the state, they would be subjected to a strict 14-day self-isolation measure before being allowed onto Western Australian mine sites.
Rio on Monday also noted that more than 1 200 of its employees at two of its Pilbara sites commenced new rosters that had been redesigned to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
The staff at Yandicoogina and Greater Brockman operations would now work two weeks on, followed by two weeks off. The roster changes at the company’s other sites in the Pilbara, which employed more than 3 500 people, were also being rolled out, and would reduce the travel frequency in and out of the Pilbara.
“Our number one priority is the health and safety of our people and our communities. We will continue to strengthen measures throughout our operations and at airports to ensure we are doing everything we can to put the health and safety of people first,” said Rio iron-ore CEO Chris Salisbury.
“These measures mean we can keep our operations running to ensure we continue delivering products to our customers and make a strong contribution to the Western Australian and Australian economies at a very challenging time.”
The company has a number of health and safety measures in place to contain the spread of Covid-19, including screening all employees prior to boarding flights, control measures at site, reduced passenger capacity on buses, tightened physical distancing measures and increased cleaning schedules.