Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
FILE - Work goes on as Kennecott Copper officials conduct a tour Monday, June 22, 2015, showing areas of the dump sites that are going to be reclaimed with vegetation over the next several years.

SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds of local workers may be affected by efforts of global mining company Rio Tinto to restructure its business operations in areas around the world. This year, the company announced it would be evaluating the business segments at all of its locations across the globe in 2018 in a massive “realignment” process.

While no layoffs have been announced, the Deseret News has received anonymous email messages expressing concern about possibly imminent large-scale job cuts.

Rio Tinto Kennecott spokesman Kyle Bennett said the company would spend much of the new year conducting extensive reviews of all of its business support roles, including its Utah office that employs approximately 400 people.

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“That does not mean 400 roles are leaving,” he said. “I don’t know what the final outcome of the evaluation will be until those are completed."

Bennett said no firm timetable has been established for completion of the review. He added that the company is aware of how “unsettling” the process can be for employees and their families, something that is being taken into consideration.

“That’s why this process is going to take awhile,” Bennett explained. “We want to make decisions that are aligned with how the business needs to operate, but also with as much respect as we can provide to (employees).”