HomeBase MetalsStorms hit Australian ore production

Storms hit Australian ore production

The Pilbara, where
storms have disrupted
iron ore mining
Sydney, Australia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 02 March 2009 – Mining giant BHP Billiton has resumed operations in western Australia after a fierce tropical storm which lashed the northwestern coast with heavy rains during the weekend, forcing iron ore miners in the key Pilbara region to temporarily restrict some of their operations.

Reuters reports from here that Australia’s weather bureau said the storm had made landfall late on Saturday near the town of Port Hedland in Western Australia, an important mining port, bringing up to 110 mm of rain.

Although the storm failed to develop into a tropical cyclone as feared, flood warnings have been in force for much of the state, including the Pilbara and parts of another mineral-rich region to the south, the Goldfields.

BHP confirmed that it had resumed operations at its iron ore export terminal at Port Hedland, after shutting the port a day earlier. while Fortescue Metals Group said it had suspended iron ore processing operations for around 12 hours, and had also halted ship loading, but that had been resumed.

A Fortescue spokesman said the firm would give further updates on its operations later today.

Rio Tinto said today the storm had not had an impact on its iron ore operations, and it was able to complete repairs to its rail network from flooding last month, with its iron ore trains running again.