Xstrata has shut down its Ulan thermal coal mine in New South Wales, Australia due to heavy rain.

Xstrata spokesman James Rickards told Reuters that the firm had declared force majeure on Ulan operations, as a result of significant underground water following recent heavy rains.

The firm is pumping out the water from the underground area and is uncertain when the production will resume at the Ulan mine, which produces about four million tons of coal annually.

Many coal mines were affected by the flooding in north-eastern Australia late last year.