Last December massive storms hit the world’s largest single coking coal mining zone, in Queensland, Australia, caused billions of dollar’s worth of damage and disruption. All the region’s major coal mining companies rushed to invoke the “force majeure” clauses in their supply contracts, so as to justify postponing coal deliveries.
As London Calling commented at the time, the immediate losses didn’t mean the companies wouldn’ t stand to gain in future: “In the medium-term the economic future for Rio and fellow Australian coking coal miners looks bright. Thanks to the major squeeze on coking coal supply, its market price has risen – as has that of lower-quality, lower-cost thermal coal used to generate electricity, and which the major companies also mine and deliver”.