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BHP’s Western Australian iron ore output lower by 6 mil-8 mil mt due to cyclone

Mining giant BHP said Tuesday that it is expecting to have lost about 6 million-8 million mt of iron ore production due to the recent cyclone which hit Western Australia and caused issues along the export chain.

“With safety as our highest priority, BHP Port and Rail Operations in Port Hedland, Western Australia, are ramping-up after being suspended due to tropical Cyclone Veronica,” the company said in an announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange Tuesday.

Port Hedland reopened on March 26 after being forced to close for 92.5 hours, the Pilbara Ports Authority said last week.

“While initial inspections show no major damage to our operations, isolated flooding both on site and sections of the rail leading into the port has limited train movements. Consequently, the port is currently operating at reduced rates and not expected to return to full capacity until later this month,” BHP said.

The company said that its expected production loss is on a 100% basis, and it is currently reviewing its fiscal July 2018-June 2019 production and unit cost guidance as a result. These will be announced once finalized, it added.

“We are engaging with our customers and intend to meet our contractual commitments,” the company said.

BHP’s announcement follows fellow mining giant Rio Tinto’s on Monday saying that its iron ore production in Western Australia is likely to be cut by about 14 million mt/year due to issues stemming from the cyclone.
Source: Platts

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