BHP to meet iron ore commitments despite train derailment: CEO – by Melanie Burton (Reuters U.S. – November 8, 2018)

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Global miner BHP Billiton will meet its iron ore commitments to customers despite a supply disruption after it had to derail a runaway ore train in Western Australia, Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie said on Thursday.

The miner suspended its rail operations after the incident on Monday that wrecked track and left a locomotive and wagons upturned nearly 120 km (75 miles) south of Australia’s iron ore export hub of Port Hedland.

Asked whether BHP would invoke force majeure, Mackenzie told media after the company’s annual general meeting in South Australia that he did not expect the miner would let down any of its customers.

“We will have the ability to supply our customers as we have been contracted to do,” Mackenzie said. Force majeure is a clause in a contract that allows either party not to fulfil the contract terms when they are affected by an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond their control.

BHP said this week it would use stockpiles at Port Hedland to maintain its port operations, but that the reserves were not expected to cover the entire period of disruption.

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