BHP Billiton will reduce its drilling activity in US shale by 40 per cent to try and release cashflow in response to the plunging oil price.

Shares in Atlas Iron fell after the miner revealed it was selling its product at a loss during the December quarter.

Rio Tinto has sold more than 300 million tonnes of iron ore in a year for the first time but a 33 per cent price plunge has raised doubts about its promised higher shareholder returns.

BHP Billiton has underlined its willingness to play hardball over its iron ore cost-cutting program, parting ways with driller Boart Longyear after a stand-off over Pilbara contract costs.

Shares in Sirius Resources jumped after the explorer announced a gold discovery at its Polar Bear project south of Kalgoorlie.

Andrew Forrest has invited a close associate from his global anti-slavery campaign to join the board of Fortescue Metals Group as the company undergoes its second round of executive restructuring in less than two months.

The Supreme Court has refused to throw out an order for Rio Tinto to pay Forge Group $2.8 million but allowed the mining giant to pursue a bigger counterclaim against the failed contractor.

Recent trading in the uranium market shows more buyers are expecting prices to rise.

Mega-miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are expected to announce more record iron ore production numbers this week, despite the commodity's price dive.

Shares in Southern Gold jumped after the explorer predicted a 50 per cent jump in free cashflow from its Cannon project near Kalgoorlie, based on a higher than expected gold price.

Oil services giant Schlumberger is expected to cut around 100 jobs in Australia as it sheds 9000 workers worldwide.