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Former Woodside Energy executive Fiona Hick will spearhead Fortescue’s clean energy initiative.

Fortescue Metals handed down a slew of redundancies last week, in a move that could see the company reach its clean energy goals sooner.

While the major miner didn’t comment on the number of job cuts made last week, one source told the Australian Financial Review that is was fewer than 100.

However, this number may not stay the same for long, with more jobs tipped to go in the coming weeks.

With the company’s profit up by $3.4 billion in the second half of 2022, many are wondering at the reason for the cuts – but money may not be the answer.

Fortescue is still hiring, and most of the vacant positions relate to a move to clean energy.

The company has not been quiet on its bid to push ahead with at least five clean energy projects before Christmas, including a green hydrogen production facility in Geelong, Victoria.

Other clean energy projects that Fortescue is working on will make their way to the US and Norway.

A spokesperson for the company told 9News that Fortescue, with its subsidiary Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), was a rapidly evolving company.

“We are always looking for opportunities for continuous business improvement to maintain our industry-leading cost position,” the spokesperson said.

“Right now we are growing globally and allocating resources swiftly to North America, responding to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

“Projects such as Iron Bridge are coming into production phase soon, while our work in Gabon is just kicking off.

“As this occurs project staffing naturally ebbs and flows.”

With more green energy projects in the pipeline, FFI is actively recruiting for manufacturing technicians, planners and battery test engineers at its Australian locations, including roles in its Green Fleet Development.

It remains to be seen whether the job cuts will contribute significantly to Fortescue’s green energy push.