A surge in weather-related disasters in Australia could push global mining firms to overhaul supply contracts and rethink how bad weather will affect their operations and customers worldwide.
Climate scientists say a warmer world will cause greater extremes of weather and some scientists have pointed to climate change as factors in some of the weather disasters in Australia. Miners needed to better assess the threats from floods, storms and droughts and include weather data and risks in mine management and commodity contracts, said Robert Milbourne, a mining and resources lawyer for global law firm Norton Rose.
Australia is a leading coking coal producer and Queensland produces 90 percent of the nation’s coking coal from miners including Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP. Eastern Australia’s devastating floods would hit production at BHP’s coal mining operations for at least six more months, the world’s biggest miner said after output in Queensland fell by nearly a third in the last quarter.
See http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/02/08/uk-climate-mining-contracts-idUKTRE71710L20110208.