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Rio Lifts Force Majeure on Coal Sales From Australian Mine

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second-biggest mining company, said it had lifted the force majeure declared on thermal coal supply contracts from its Kestrel mine in Australia after flooding damaged a rail line.

The clause, invoked by companies when they miss shipments because of circumstances beyond their control, was lifted on March 12, Matthew Klar, a Brisbane-based spokesman for Rio, said in an e-mail today. The company announced force majeure on Jan. 30, according to a statement on its website.

Flooding from tropical cyclone Oswald in January swamped the Blackwater rail line that transports the commodity to the port of Gladstone in Queensland. Xstrata Plc, the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal, declared force majeure on Jan. 29 because of damage to the system, which was reopened Feb. 6.

The Blackwater rail network carries the second-largest coal tonnages in Queensland and serves mines operated by companies including Rio, Xstrata and BHP Billiton Ltd.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Sharples in Melbourne at bsharples@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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