Rio lifts force majeure in WA

Rio Tinto has resumed operations at its Pilbara iron ore ports after weeks of rain stalled loading operations in Western Australia.

Rio Tinto has resumed operations at its Pilbara iron ore ports after weeks of rain stalled loading operations in Western Australia.

Rio declared force majeure on shipments from its Pilbara mines when berthing of vessels was suspended on 14 February because of severe storms.

While the company’s main line resumed in February, Rio has now lifted the force majeure on its Mesa J line, which accounts for more than 10 percent of production.

Rio admitted heavy rains adversely affected its export volumes in February 2009, but the company has not revealed how much annual production has been affected.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore regional marketing manager, Alwyn Vorster, says the company has used “all reasonable endeavours” to reduce queue levels at its ports and claims the vessel line-up has now returned to pre-storm levels.

Rio operates 11 mines in the Pilbara which produced 175 million metric tonnes of iron ore in 2008.

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