Resources managers vacated their positions after being accused of removing company-owned property and using it for personal gain.
Multiple Rio Tinto site supervisors recently resigned from their leadership roles at the Nammuldi mine, 279km south of Karratha. The group had allegedly bought unusually high quantities of power tools and other equipment, and declared many of them were either lost or damaged, before selling them privately for a profit.
“Supervisors all decided to resign when confronted with evidence of their unusual buying activity. Concerns were raised after a disproportionate number of tools at the site were reported as lost or damaged,” News Limited reported.
The employer, which decided against referring the matter to police, refused to comment.
“No other similar activities were identified in a subsequent review of the company’s other Pilbara operations, and the company opted not to take the matter to the police,” the media outlet reported.
The alleged workplace theft is widely speculated to have cost Rio up to $3 million, which equates to less than one hour of production if the Pilbara iron ore division reported US$19.2 billion (A$27.5B) in earnings for 2021. However, a company spokesperson rejected this rumour.
The division employs 13,000 employees across 17 different mine sites.