[Coal] “The entire industry is facing a force majeure issue” – by Staff (Mining Journal – April 4, 2017)


Coal prices have hit an 11-week high as Tropical Cyclone Debbie’s impact on the world’s largest coking coal region – north-east Australia – becomes apparent.

The Australian coking coal price leapt US$23.40 overnight to $175.70 a tonne for export according to the Steel Index, the highest price since mid-January.

The cyclone struck last week, causing four deaths and extensive flooding across Queensland and New South Wales, forcing mine suspensions and damaging rail networks.

Coal transporter Aurizon Holdings says it could take up to five weeks to repair and reopen sections of its rail network that connect coal mines to ports in Queensland.

Significant landslips have occurred on the Goonyella system and Aurizon is investigating alternate routing opportunities for affected customers. The Blackwater network was reopened on Friday then closed a day later, bar a northern portion, due to further flooding and was expected to fully reopen by the end of this week.

Yancoal (AU:YAL) last week declared force majeure on its Middlemount mine, a joint venture with Peabody Energy in the Bowen Basin, as a result of the cyclone conditions affecting Queensland.

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