MARQUETTE, MI (AP)-- Rio Tinto has reduced its overall contractor employment by 20 percent as it scales back its mine production and processing schedule.
In February officials announced the company would shift first production of nickel and copper at the Eagle Mine and processing at the Humboldt Mill to the latter half of 2014. The decision was in response what they called "economic headwinds" and volatility in commodities markets.
The company says the slowdown affects operations across the mining industry. It plans to finish current construction work, but reschedule new construction.
Rio Tinto officials say construction at the mine in Michigamme Township is about 80 percent finished, with the overall project about half done.