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Coal operations continue as Cyclone Marcia strikes

World Coal,

Central Queensland’s coal network was slowed over the weekend by Cyclone Marcia, however mines were able to keep operating throughout.

The cyclone arrived on the coast near Yeppoon on Friday morning as a category five storm, but gradually weakened as it headed inland and south.

Coal export facilities at Dalrymple Bay, Hay Point and Gladstone had to suspend ship loading on the approach of the storm, as a precautionary measure. Ports at Bundaberg, Fitzroy, Port Alma and Burnett also closed but re-opened to non-commercial vehicles on Saturday. Operations are currently restricted to daylight hours only.

Rail lines were similarly affected. Aurizon Holdings, Australia’s biggest coal rail freight company, had to close its Blackwater corridor – which services many of Queensland’s Bowen Basin Collieries. However, this reopened on Sunday. Meanwhile, Moura Corridor services remain suspended.

Aurizon Communications Manager Mark Hairsine said that tracks has to be inspected before they were reopened: “At the end of the day, it is about making sure our operations are safe and our people are safe and we will get back to inspect the track and resume operations as soon as possible for our coal customers”.

Written by Emma McAleavey.

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