Miners halt output as 2 cyclones batter Australia

Date: Mar 25, 2019

GLOBAL miners BHP Group and Glencore Plc halted output at energy and metals operations as two cyclones simultaneously approached Australia for the first time since 2015.

BHP stopped output at the Pyrenees oil project off Western Australia as cyclone Veronica tracked towards a hub of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and iron-ore export operations. Ships left ports and workers fled the region ahead of destructive wind and heavy rain as the cyclone crossed the coast on Sunday. In the north, cyclone Trevor made landfall on Saturday.

Veronica’s core reached land midway between Karratha and Port Hedland Sunday morning as a Category 3 system with wind gusts up to 220 kilometres an hour, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Woodside Petroleum Ltd and Chevron Corp operate LNG export terminals in the region, while BHP, Rio Tinto Group and Fortescue Metals Group ship iron orefrom a number of ports dotted across the Pilbara coast.

Cape Lambert and Dampier have been cleared of vessels and port operations have stopped, Rio said in a statement, adding that non-essential workers have been sent home or flown out of the nearby town of Karratha. Rio said Sunday that rail operations in the Pilbara and mining at its Robe Valley operations have also been suspended.

All large commercial ships have also been cleared from the harbours and anchorages at Port Hedland and Ashburton, Pilbara Ports Authority said.

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