Rio Tinto unable to meet coal supply contracts due to floods

RIO TINTO is the latest miner to declare a "force majeure", unable to meet its coal supply contracts because of infrastructure damage in the Queensland flood crisis.

Rio's declaration affects its Kestrel mine, west of Mackay, allowing it to break contract agreements without consequence.

The force majeure clause can be called when a mine is affected by issues it deems to be outside its control.

Swiss-based multi-national Xstrata has applied the same declaration for a number of its coal ships operating from the Port of Gladstone.

China's state-owned Yancoal - which co-owns mines nearby - flagged a force majeure was not off the table.

Yancoal told the Australian Stock Exchange this week its Middlemount mining pits had been inundated after a levee bank failed.


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