With Cyclone Debbie having just tried to emulate Cyclone Yasi, coal pricing and what ASX companies mine has suddenly become very much more relevant.
Preliminary statements coming from the Queensland coal fields are that there has been not less than 30% of anthracite coal production shut in for an extended time frame, whatever that means. Exact details from the region are not being released by companies such as BHP and Queensland Rail, but you cannot have a major cyclone, the most damaging in 40 years with a 1300 kilometre zone of influence and not have big issues for coal mines right in the middle. Production from coal mines in the region was in 2015/16 123 million tonnes of coking coal and 39 million tonnes of thermal coal. Obviously this flooding has to impact the unfortunate companies mining in the Collinsville, Bowen, Mackay regions negatively and for companies mining similar coals in say NSW very positively. Force majeure is going to be claimed over flooded open pits, railways and their tracks that cannot support the heavy trains and the ports like Mackay and Gladstone that load the coals for export. But where are the ASX announcements?
So what is coal?
There is no concept of homogeneity in coals.