Rio Tinto on massive Australian recruitment drive

Mining giant Rio Tinto launched one of the biggest recruitment drives ever undertaken in Australia as it seeks 6,000 new workers, with the help of some of the country's top Olympic athletes.

Rio has about Aus$22 billion (US$22.8 billion) worth of projects underway or ready to start across the continent and needs to bump up its workforce dramatically.

"Rio Tinto is a major employer in Australia and with billions of dollars of new projects underway or ready to roll out we need more people to be part of our major expansion plans in Australia," spokesman Bruce Tobin said on Friday.

"The recruitment campaign has a real people focus and is all about attracting skilled employees to fill critical roles across Rio Tinto's mining operations in Australia."

Rio currently employs about 20,000 people in Australia, many of them at its massive iron-ore operations in Western Australia's mineral-rich Pilbara region, where the majority of the new jobs will be based.

The company is a London 2012 Olympic sponsor and is using some of Australia's best-known athletes, including swimmer Libby Trickett and pole-vaulter Steve Hooker, in its four-month campaign.

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