BHP is slashing jobs at its Melbourne head office

BHP Billiton is cutting jobs at its Melbourne head office by more than one-third.

The strategy will eventually lead to a bigger office in Singapore, according to a report in the Australian Financial review.

The staff numbers will drop to about 300 from a high of 480.

“The sweeping restructure is part of chief executive Andrew Mackenzie’s mission to simplify the miner, and reshape it to run like an advanced manufacturing business,” the AFR says.

BHP is restructuring the business, seeking savings following the float of South32 in May.

The world’s biggest miner is under pressure from falling prices for commodities.

Last week BHP announced it was taking another a hit to its profits of up to $650 million, this time due to falling copper production and a slow down in oil shale in the US.

In January BHP announced it was shutting 40% of its US oil shale operations following sharp falls in prices. It started the current financial year with just ten rigs in operation from 26 last year.

Taken together, the hit to profits from the write downs, including $US2 billion for the oil shale operations in the US, add up to $US4.75 billion.

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