The Australian Workers’ Union says the operator of the Port Pirie lead and zinc smelter is set to cut 100 jobs at the site.

Smelter owner Nyrstar said it was “reviewing its long-term organisational structure” to secure a sustainable future for the smelter in South Australia’s Mid North.

The union said Nyrstar told it there would be 40 full-time and 60 contract redundancies out of about 700 people working at the smelter.

AWU branch organiser Michael Hopgood said the union may contest the redundancies if safety was compromised.

“There may be employees that are required to have more than one person in one job,” he said.

“Now if the company are trying to reduce those numbers by saying that one person can do the job of two, well we would have significant concerns with that.”

Mr Hopgood said while the union was prepared to negotiate with Nyrstar, it would not rule out going to the Fair Work Commission.

Nyrstar has not denied the cuts, and said it was “reviewing its long-term organisational structure”.

“A number of transformation initiatives are intended to assist in ensuring that the Port Pirie smelter will have a sustainable future,” the company said.

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