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Rio Tinto Sees Cyclone Veronica Denting Western Australia Iron-Ore Production by 14 Million Tonnes

8:35 AM, Apr 1, 2019 — Rio Tinto (RIO) said the impact of a cyclone in western Australia and a fire in January at an iron ore terminal will result in the loss of about 14 million tonnes of production this year.

The London-based mining giant said in a statement on Monday that operations in the Pilbara region of Australia are “progressively resuming” after Tropical Cyclone Veronica passed through the area last week and brought heavy rainfall.

“Initial inspections uncovered some damage to the Cape Lambert A port facility,” the company said. “As a result, Rio Tinto has declared force majeure on certain contracts and is working with its customers to minimize any disruption in supply.”

Cape Lambert A is an iron ore terminal that Rio Tinto said is capable of loading more than 85 million tonnes per year. The impact of the cyclone and repairing damage to the port’s facilities comes after the site suffered damage from a fire in January, the company said.

According to Rio Tinto’s website, the Cape Lambert A and B port has a total capacity of about 205 million tonnes annually and is a joint venture between Rio Tinto, with 53% ownership, Mitsui at 33% and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. with a 14% stake.

Rio Tinto said that shipments from the Pilbara in 2019 are expected to be at the lower end of the 338 million to 350 million tonnes guidance provided as a result of the loss of the 14 million tonnes of output this year.

The Cape Lambert A shipments mainly include Hamersley Iron Yandicoogina, or HIY, and Robe River products. Rio Tinto said that in 2018, it shipped 57.4 million tonnes of HIY and 32 million tonnes of Robe River products.

Companies: Rio Tinto Plc
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