Australia’s Iron Ore Ports Reopen after Cyclone

(Image Courtesy: Reuters)

Western Australia’s iron ore export ports of Port Hedland and Port Dampier have reopened, while Fortescue Metals Group expects to resume its rail operations Wednesday after a cyclone caused havoc to the export chain recently.

The Port of Dampier was reopened at 6:00 am Australian Western standard time on Wednesday with normal operations having resumed. It was closed for 132 hours, the Pilbara Ports Authority said Wednesday.

Port Hedland had reopened at 09:00 am AWST on Tuesday after being closed for 92.5 hours, the Pilbara Ports Authority said.

Fortescue said on Wednesday that it recommenced shipments from Port Hedland on Tuesday afternoon using inventory at the port.

“Mining and processing operations have continued throughout and there are sufficient ore stocks at Port Hedland for shipping to resume. Fortescue is currently working with customers to reschedule shipments delayed by the closure of the port,” the company said.

Meanwhile, the miner said that after suspending its rail operations on Saturday due to poor weather conditions, localized flooding is subsiding, and rail operations are expected to resume Wednesday.

Mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP also said on Tuesday that they were preparing to restart mining, rail and port operations, which had been affected by the cyclone.

In February, Port Hedland’s monthly throughput was 39.4 million mt, of which 39.2 million mt was iron ore exports, up by less than 1% from a year earlier, the Pilbara Ports Authority said earlier this month.

From July-December 2018, Dampier shipped 71.24 million mt of iron ore, according to data from the Pilbara Port Authority.

(Source: Platts)

Sea News, March 28

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra

Associate Editor, Sea News