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Xstrata Shuts Coal Mine in Australia After Fire; Workers Safe

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Xstrata Plc, the world’s biggest exporter of steaming coal, shut its Blakefield South mine in Australia’s New South Wales state after a fire broke out last night.

All workers at the mine in the Hunter Valley region are safe, James Rickards, a spokesman for Xstrata Coal, said today by phone. The cause of the fire that started at about 7.30 p.m. Sydney time has yet to be determined, he said.

No decision has been taken on when production will resume at the mine, Rickards said. The mine has annual capacity of 7.5 million metric tons.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisabeth Behrmann in Sydney at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

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