BMA blames workers for force majeure

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BMA has blamed bad weather and industrial action for not meeting contract requirements on its Queensland coal mines.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald BHP has made a force majeure declaration to its customers in Europe, Japan, India, Latin America, Korea, Taiwan, and China.

Goldman Sachs analysts have warned the industrial action may impact "market sentiment and prices" in the short to medium term.

The commodities researcher said the slowdown would also ripple through the global coking coal industry, with BMA supplying around 18 per cent of seaborne supply in 2011.

In a note to clients on Friday Goldman Sachs said BHP’s labour problems were symptomatic of challenges faced by other companies in Australia.

"Mining companies are pursuing rapid volume growth in the face of skilled labour shortages and cost inflation," it said.

"We believe that the ability to negotiate these challenges is a differentiating factor among mining stocks."

According to The Australian analysts have estimated BMA’s dispute with workers to have cost three million tonnes of coal so far.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that at a production rate of 750,000 tonnes of coking coal a week, BMA could be losing around $20 million a day on constraints.

The CFMEU said previously the ongoing dispute between coal workers and BMA may spur an intervention from either the Federal or QLD Government.

According to The Australian the mine sites affected by the force majeure announcement include Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Peak Downs, Saraji, Norwich Park, Gregory Crinum, and Blackwater.

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