Bowen Basin lost production costs mount

HEAVY rain and record floods across central Queensland's Bowen Basin are now expected to translate into hundreds of millions of dollars in lost coal production, Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche said.

HEAVY rain and record floods across central Queensland’s Bowen Basin are now expected to translate into hundreds of millions of dollars in lost coal production, Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche said.

“The cumulative impact of heavy rain in the northern Bowen Basin last week coupled with record flooding in southern catchments means that most of the region’s 33 coal mines have lost valuable production time,” he said.

“Highlighting the industry’s resilience and preparedness for seasonal conditions, most mining operations are quickly returning to normal.”

For Ensham Resources, the road to full recovery is going to be longer in the aftermath of a catastrophic flood peak around Emerald that we understand resulted from a rare convergence of floodwaters from some 20,000 square kilometres of catchments to the north and south of the town.

However, the company has advised that a recovery plan is in train and production can resume in parts of the mine complex, and that’s great news for the region and Queensland.

“Over the next few days, a number of coal mines will face flood peaks but have reported that they are well prepared to cope with whatever eventuates.”

Roche said that while flooding would account for hundreds of millions of dollars in lost production in 2008, it should be measured against the Queensland coal industry’s annual production value of more than $18 billion.

“What we will see in coming weeks and months is an industry-wide response to meet customer expectations, and in view of the reported minimal disruption to rail and port services, the Queensland coal industry expects to continue to satisfy the requirements of its international and domestic customers,” he said.

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