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BHP estimates roughly 6 to 8 million tonnes of export production will be lost at its West Australian iron ore operation as a result of Tropical Cyclone Veronica, with rail movements into Port Hedland still limited.
The mining giant on April 2 placed its FY19 production and unit cost guidance under review, saying isolated flooding both at Port Hedland and on sections of rail leading into the port will continue to limit capacity until later this month.
Tropical Cyclone Veronica made landfall between Port Hedland and Karratha on March 23-24, leading BHP, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group and Roy Hill to suspend their respective export operations.
BHP said on Tuesday it was beginning to ramp-up operations following the suspension of operations, but noted train movements remained limited.
The news follows Rio Tinto on April 1 notified its customers of a force majeure, after some damage was discovered at its Cape Lambert A port facility. Rio said the cyclone damage, combined with damage from a fire at the same facility in January, would cost it roughly 14 million tonnes of production in 2019.
Cape Lambert A is designed to load as much as 85 million tonnes of iron ore per annum.
Fortescue said it resumed its Port Hedland shipping and rail operations resumed on March 26 and 27, respectively.
This article first appeared on www.railexpress.com.au
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