Hot weather shuts Newman airport, delays official BHP mine opening

Hot conditions are affecting the condition of Newman airport’s runway, forcing the airport to shut.

Closing the airport on Sunday, the decision has reportedly delayed the official opening at BHP Billiton’s Jimblebar mine site.

"Though regrettable, the cancellation does not detract from the significant achievement of the opening of our newest mine, particularly the delivery of first ore six months ahead of the original schedule," BHP said in a statement.

"BHP Billiton Iron Ore is implementing alternative travel options for staff who are due to travel to site, including the use of charter services and landing aircraft at alternative locations.” 

A number of aircraft reported tyres had become sticky after using the runway, WA Today reports.

It is understood a substance used to improve the runway during the wet season is not reacting the way management had expected, causing the tarmac to become tacky when exposed to heat.

Newman airport staff are working to resolve the issue.

The airport is expected to remain closed for the rest of Monday.

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