Cyclone Yasi Scares The Coal Industry
Cyclone Yasi is heading towards Australia, and people are hoping it stays away from Queensland, whose coal industry is still recovering from earlier flooding.
The Herald Sun reports that “A landfall around the forecast area could also damage northern coal ports, Abbot Point near Bowen and Dalrymple Bay and Hay Point. Very heavy seas are also predicted well south of the storm centre.
The ports were closed or not loading coal yesterday, with a fleet of coal carriers queued off Dalrymple Bay sent south, away from the storm's forecast trajectory.
The destructive winds that have been forecast looked likely to avoid most of the Bowen Basin -- which is the world's most important coking coal province. But Yasi is so big there remained the possibility of heavy rainfall over mines already disrupted by January and December's falls.
Rio Tinto yesterday said it had suspended operations at its Hail Creek coking coal mine, though BHP Billiton would not say if it had suspended operations at its northern Bowen Basin joint-venture mines.
QR National has also suspended rail operations on its Newlands-Collinsville to Abbot Point coal line and the much bigger Goonyella coal network…
Queensland is already facing costs of at least $5 billion from the recent floods, with the coal industry already looking to late March before production is scheduled to get back to near normal.”