Cyclone Carlos Closes Pilbara Mining Operations

A cyclone of the north west mining coast of Australia has brought damage to homes and closure to offshore oil rigs. Ports handling iron ore exports have also been forced to shut down as per officials. The tropical cyclone Carlos measured two on a five point scale.

Port Hedland is the largest iron ore terminal in the country and it was forced to close following the Cyclone across the Pilbara coast. The bad weather has affected most major iron ore projects in the Pilbara as rail and roads were also forced to close.

Towns like Dampier and Karratha have been on red alert since a freak storm ran through the towns and damaged houses. In Karratha about 150 people stayed in an evacuation shelter for the night. Heavy rains and winds gusting in excess of 140 kilometres were experienced in the area.

The Rio Tinto spokesperson Gervase Greene said that the company has had to suspend coastal operations thanks to the bad weather. Hundreds of mine workers have been asked to stay at home. They were making sure that employees knew what was happening and that they were in a safe place.

Woodside Petroleum has stopped operations on its Enfield oilfield and Cossack Pioneer floating facility. The Vincent oilfield was already shut due to its maintenance schedule. Chief Executive Don Voelte said that the Pluto project near Karratha which should have been completed by August may be delayed.

Apache Corporation has stopped production at Stag and Van Gogh fields in Western Australia. The Varanus Island is still operational for the company. Many smaller companies operating in the area have also been forced to stop production and wait for the weather to improve. With Carlos in its sixth day and Dianna moving further down the coast it is not clear when this will be possible.

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