Four coal mines in Australia are shut down as heavy rains force residents to evacuate. Over 11,000 people in Queensland have been isolated from the flooding as military helicopters continue to rescue stranded locals.
Thus far, Whitehaven Coal and other miners and liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers in the area have yet to report serious damage to mines or equipment. Earlier last year, flash floods killed over 30 people, swamped 30,000 houses and devastated infrastructure in the area—inundating coal mines and increasing the price of coal in the process.
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Australia, the world's largest coal exporter, accounts for around two thirds of global trade of coking coal. Many of the state's mines are still carrying water from last year's rainy season, but continue to be monitored under the Queensland Resources Council.
“Sites are reportedly dealing well with what are traditional wet season issues such as site access and water accumulation,” according to Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche.
Some A$45 billion worth of LNG projects are at risk in southern Queensland, but top producers like BP Group, Origin, Santos and Xstrata continue to report minimal or no damage. Rio Tinto said it will not comment on production.