BHP, Rio batten down for cyclone

Major iron ore miners suspend port operations as cyclone Christine heads towards Port Hedland.


Australia's biggest iron ore miners have stopped loading ships and suspended rail operations as cyclone Christine heads towards the Pilbara coast.

The category three system is about 180km north of Port Hedland and 305km north of Karratha, and travelling towards the WA coast.

A cyclone warning has been issued for coastal areas from Bidyadanga to Onslow, including Port Hedland, Karratha and Onslow, and extending inland to Paraburdoo.

BHP Billiton Ltd, Rio Tinto Ltd and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd have suspended their port operations in the region.

BHP said "tie-down" activities at Port Hedland, Australia's largest iron ore export port, have been completed.

"Extreme weather preparations continue across our mining operations in line with alerts issued by Department of Fire and Emergency Services," BHP said.

"Any production impacts will be in our next operational report."

The highest priority is to ensure the safety of employees, BHP said.

Rio Tinto said ship loading had now stopped, but mine and rail operations continue to operate as normal.

Fortescue Metals Group said its Port Hedland operations and rail operations had been secured, in line with the company's cyclone readiness procedures.

"Conditions are being closely monitored and plans will be updated accordingly," the company said.

Cyclone Christine is expected to cross the coast between Port Hedland and Karratha on Monday night or early Tuesday morning, with gusts of more than 200km per hour expected near the centre of the storm.

InvestSMART FORUM: Come and meet the team

We're loading up the van and going on tour from April to June, with events on the NSW central & north coast, the QLD mid-north coast and in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. Come and meet the team and take home simple strategies that you can use to build an investment portfolio to weather any storm. Book your spot here.

Want access to our latest research and new buy ideas?

Start a free 15 day trial and gain access to our research, recommendations and market-beating model portfolios.

Sign up for free

Related Articles