This prompted industry analysts to suggest a sell-off of some if its assets may be coming. The company split into four divisions — aluminum, copper and diamonds, energy and minerals, and iron ore.
“Iron ore will be exclusively focused on our world-class iron ore operations in Western Australia,” Rio Tinto said in a press release.
Rio Tinto declined to comment further on the release, which showed that IOC is now part of the new Energy and Mineral Division. It is now lumped in with the company’s coal, uranium, salt, borates and titanium dioxide businesses.
A spokesperson for the United Steelworkers 5795 said they have no idea what it means and have not heard anything from the company.
“We just got the press release same as everyone else,” he said. “They never tell us when they’re making changes.”
He said at this point the Union is waiting to see what will happen and they have no further comment.
BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto’s largest business rival, did a similar restructuring of its assets last year, just prior to selling off its mineral divisions.
In the last year, Rio Tinto has seen its share price decline by 26 per cent, which industry analysts say is largely tied to the falling price of iron ore.