Rio Tinto cuts Pilbara shipment outlook after cyclone Damien

The Cape Lambert port is one of two terminals Rio Tinto uses to ship iron ore from Australia’s Pilbara mining region. (Image courtesy of BigLift)

Rio Tinto on Monday lowered its forecast for the volume of iron ore it expects to ship from the Pilbara region in Australia after tropical cyclone Damien hit the country’s west coast.

The company said it is resuming operations following the passing of the cyclone and that it will take time for operations to return to normal.

The Anglo-Australian miner now expects Pilbara shipments in 2020 between 324 million tonnes and 334 million tonnes, lower than its previous outlook of 330 million tonnes to 343 million tonnes.

“The cyclone caused infrastructure damage across our entire Pilbara network, including impact to access roads, electrical and communications infrastructure and accommodation,” the company said.

The powerful cyclone crossed the coast near Dampier in Western Australia state last week, with gusty winds of up to 200 km per hour (125 miles per hour).

Rio last month reported a 3% drop in iron ore shipments for 2019.

The company’s London-listed shares were about a percent higher at 1200 GMT.

(By Shanima A; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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