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Friday, February 17, 2012

BHPB BMA miners strike could hit coking coal production in Australia

Fri, 17 Feb 2012

ABS reported that more than 3000 BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance workers began a 7 day strike in Queensland, in the biggest industrial action in Australia in more than a decade, potentially cutting output by approximately 1 million tonnes.

Workers are threatening week long stoppage at seven Bowen Basin mines, which produce one fifth of the world's coking coal.

There are warnings from analysts, that the stoppages will cause big problems for Asian customers.

BHP says the action won't affect pay negotiations, or decisions on issues the company says are vital to competitiveness.

Analyst Mr Tim Morris says the action could affect coal prices. He said “It's a reflection of workers wanting a larger slice of what's been a growing profit pie in the coal industry. You've already got significant flooding affecting coal output and Australia's one of the world's largest suppliers of coal to Asia. So it could have an impact on short-term pricing and if the tension continues, you could see some medium-term issues as well.”

Workers at BHP’s Goonyella Riverside, Broadmeadow, Peak Downs, Saraji, Norwich Park, Gregory Crinum, and Blackwater mines will be involved in the strikes.

(Sourced from

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