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Normal services resumed for BHP Billiton following Cyclone Debbie

Mining giant BHP Billiton has announced that crews and mining staff are returning to work in the Queensland Bowen Basin, following the dissipation of Cy...

Dale Benton
|Apr 4|magazine7 min read

Mining giant BHP Billiton has announced that crews and mining staff are returning to work in the Queensland Bowen Basin, following the dissipation of Cyclone Debbie.

The company had shut down operations last week as heavy rain continued to fall from Cyclone Debbie.  

The Cyclone, dubbed the “most dangerous” cyclone to hit Queensland since Cyclone Yasi back in 2011, has devastated the Queensland area of Australia for the last few weeks.

In response to this, BHP Billiton, with significant operations in the Queensland Bowen Basin area, was forced to close down operations at The Hay Point Terminal.

BHP Billiton has interests in 11 coal mines in the Bowen Basin through its joint ventures – BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) owns nine mines (seven operational, two in care and maintenance, and the Hay Point Coal Terminal south of Mackay. BHP Billiton Mitsui Coal (BMC) owns two mines.

Relief

Following the devastation from the cyclone, BHP Billiton agreed to pledge A$250,000 to provide immediate support to Queenslanders impacted by the cyclone.

The donation, made to the Salvation Army, was dedicated to delivering services and support to communities such as Mackay and Moranbah, which were heavily affected.

“This is far from over for the people of Queensland. Many families have lost their homes and communities continue to be without power.  Communications are relying on organisations like the Salvation Army for help,”, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) Asset President Frans Knox said.

BMA and BHP Motsui Coal (BMC) employees and contractors have been assisting the local community.  The businesses have helped Ergon Energy gain access to areas to clear fallen trees and debris near power network infrastructure and offered use of a helicopter chartered by BMA for Ergon to inspect its network to expedite power restoration for Moranbah.

Back to work

The company officially announced the return to work, with the exception of its South Walker Creek, as crews begin dewatering and preparation geared towards returning to operations.  

The Hay Point Terminal is ready to receive coal from the mines and can begin shipping operations once the Harbour Master provides clearance.

The rail network remains offline, with BHP awaiting confirmation from Aurizon to understand timing for resumption of track availability.

“We are updating customers on the current situation and determining potential supply impacts,” the company said in a statement.

We continue to monitor and work through the impacts to production.”

 

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