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Cockatoo Coal Says Queensland’s Baralaba Mine Flooded

Cockatoo Coal Ltd., an Australian coal producer, said production was halted at its Baralaba mine in Queensland state after severe weather conditions caused the pit to flood.

“Whilst the full extent of the impact of the flood on the mine open pit is yet to be determined, once flood waters recede a detailed pit dewatering program will be initiated to get the mine back into production as soon as possible,” Sydney-based Cockatoo said today in a statement.

Australia had its wettest September-to-November period on record, prompting mining companies including Rio Tinto Group, Xstrata Plc and Vale SA to declare force majeure. Force majeure is a legal clause that allows a company to miss deliveries because of circumstances beyond its control.

Xstrata today said operations at its Oaky Creek underground mine in the Bowen Basin in Queensland were affected by disruption to rail lines. The company is assessing the level of delays to shipments from Oaky Creek, Xstrata Coal Spokesman James Rickards said.

“Open pits are in recovery mode and we will assess the impact over the next days,” Rickards said in an e-mailed statement. “Our underground operations, including Oaky Creek Coal, are still expected to perform at either industry leading or record levels this year.”

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