Tropical cyclone hits far North Australia near Rio Tinto mine

Tropical Cyclone Penny slammed into the far north coast of Australia’s Queensland state near Rio Tinto Group’s Weipa bauxite mine, triggering warnings of flash flooding and damaging winds.

The category 1 cyclone, with wind gusts of up to 100 kilometers per hour, is expected to weaken into a tropical low later Tuesday evening as it crosses Cape York Peninsula, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Penny crossed the coast near the mining town of Weipa, a community of some 3,500 people where Rio Tinto operates a bauxite mine. The company said it was monitoring the cyclone and making appropriate preparations.

(By Edward Johnson)