Cyclone bears down on Australia’s iron ore miners

Australia’s biggest iron ore miners are bracing for the impact of Cyclone Damien, one of the strongest systems to pass WA’s Pilbara coastline in years, as key ports were closed on Friday in preparation for the impact.

As forecasters warn of destructive winds of up to 250 kilometres per hour, torrential rainfall and storm surges when the cyclone makes landfall this weekend, the miners of Australia’s lucrative steelmaking commodity said they were suspending operation and clearing ports.

A ship being loaded with iron ore from a Rio Tinto mine in the Pilbara.Credit:Reuters

The threat posed to the iron ore industry from cyclones could extend beyond the export schedule. In previous cyclones, miners have been left counting the cost after flooding at mine sites and railways crimped yearly production volumes by millions of tonnes.

Rio Tinto, the biggest iron ore exporter, cleared its Cape Lambert and Dampier ports on Friday night.


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