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Pilbara ports shut as tropical cyclone closes in

Publishing Date
11 Jan 2013 1:05pm GMT
Author
Mining Journal

Australia’s authorities have closed key iron-ore export terminals in the Pilbara region as severe tropical cyclone Narelle nears the western coast.

Narelle, which was upgraded to a category four storm on Friday morning, was approximately 500km northwest of Karratha at 5:00pm local time.

Rio Tinto spokesman Bruce Tobin told Mining Journal’s sister publication, MiningNewsPremium.net, the company had halted shiploading operations after authorities closed Dampier and Cape Lambert ports on the Pilbara coast.

“Due to the sea conditions, the port authorities have closed the ports at Dampier and Cape Lambert,” Tobin told MiningNewsPremium.net.

“As a result, Rio Tinto shiploading operations have been suspended. All other operations, including mining, rail movements, car-dumping and other port operations, are continuing as before.”

Port Hedland, about 200km east northeast of Karratha, is operating as normal, according to Bloomberg.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) issued gale and strong wind warnings for Friday evening (local time) throughout the Pilbara East and Pilbara West areas as it expects wind gusts of up to 100km/h along the coastline.

BOM has also issued storm force warnings and strong wind warnings in the area throughout Saturday, but expects winds to ease late Sunday as Narelle moves south along the Western Australian coastline.

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