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Disaster damages mine infrastructure

South32 mine
South32 mine

Dangerous weather caused destruction to a major resources operation.

Tropical Cyclone Megan recently impacted on South32’s Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO) mine.

The category-four system forced management to temporarily suspend production because there was no guarantee every employee would return safely from work.

“The safety of our people and the community on Groote Eylandt is our priority. Severe weather conditions continue to impact the Eylandt and we are closely monitoring the situation,” the proponent said in a public statement.

Almost 600mm of rain fell across the area at the weekend, damaging mine infrastructure and a freight ship carrying fuel and product ore.

“Initial inspections indicate the cyclone has caused structural damage to the wharf. The full impact of the damage and subsequent disruption to production and sales volumes will be assessed when access to the port and other infrastructure is restored,” the company said.

Police discovered no fuel leaks and the wreck was still being removed at the time of publication.

Although the storm has been downgraded to a tropical low it is still delivering heavy rain and winds of up to 130km/h. The weather system is predicted to weaken and move further inland in the Northern Territory.

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