Fortescue Metals resumes mining at storm-hit Pilbara mines

15 January 2012 (Last Updated June 3rd, 2020 12:04)

Fortescue Metals Group has resumed operations at its cyclone-hit mines located in Pilbara, Australia, the company has announced.

Fortescue Metals Group has resumed operations at its cyclone-hit mines located in Pilbara, Australia, the company has announced.

The company was forced to shut down activity on 13 January at the mines, which were flooded with water after Tropical Cyclone Heidi, a category two cyclone, hit the country.

Fortescue Metals is Australia's third-biggest iron ore producer and exports about 55 million tons of iron ore a year.

Bloomberg quoted Fortescue Metals Group spokeswoman Elizabeth Gosch saying the company resumed mining at Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek on January 14.

Gosch, however, declined to specify any impact on production. Cloudbreak produces 40 million metric tons a year of the iron ore and Christmas Creek has an output of 15 million tons a year.

Work was halted at Cloudbreak and Christmas Creek after the Tropical Cyclone crossed the coast east of Port Hedland as a tropical low on 12 January, reports Bloomberg.

The port, which is the world's biggest iron ore terminal, was subject to heavy rain and strong winds.

Yesterday, the Bureau of Meteorology issued warnings for flooding in the Yule and Turner river catchments, as well as the Fortescue River catchment. Fortescue Metals Group and BHP Billiton both use Port Hedland for export purposes.

Last week, BHP said it was monitoring the storm and would stop operations at its mines, if necessary.