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Australian coal miners flooded, "called biblical flood"


Canadian coal miners rally on Aussy Flood Disaster:

Impacts on Exports

Queensland exports about 54 percent of the world's metallurgical coal. Metallurgical coal is also called coke coal and is use to make steel.

China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and India are the biggest importers of Australian coal.

The United States and Canada are seen at the two countries most likely to be able to help supply coal to full the global demand, according to Stratfor.

As a result of Australia's mining difficulties the price of coal has been on the rise. In recent weeks prices have risen by close to 10 percent to nearly $250 per metric ton. There are fears that the price could go as high as $300 if the cutoff continues, The Australian reported.

The weather in Moranbah should be drier next week but scattered rain is possible.

"The rainfall next week should be below what is average for this time of year," Andrews said.

Even with less rain, the mining operations are not expected to return to normal until the second half of 2011, according to Stratfor's Australian sources.

China Metallurgical Coal demand to Soar in 2011

Metallurgical Coal China Import Share To Grow From 2% In 2008 To 20% In 2011 Coupled With Supply Constraints Indicate Significant Near Term Price Increase
The above report was on the Wall Street Transcript on Monday December 27, 2010, 8:36 am EST

Grande Cache Coal statement:
"The market outlook for metallurgical coal continues to remain strong and we are well positioned to take advantage of that market with a strong balance sheet, a new fleet of equipment and the resources necessary to deliver on our company's growth plans."

Grande Cache Coal is an Alberta based metallurgical coal mining company whose experienced team of coal professionals are managing a mine that produces metallurgical coal for the steel industry and holds coal leases covering over 22,000 hectares containing an estimated 235 million tonnes of coal resources in the Smoky River Coalfield located in west-central Alberta.

Report highlighting ( in Nov. 2010:

This month an official with the China's coal association said the country's demand for coal will continue to increase in the next five years and is expected to reach 3.8 billion tons in 2015. The surprising surge in coal demand has sent coal prices up to two years highs and brought upon a wave M&A speculation.

Canadian Coal companies have been in the spotlight after Walter Energy offered to buy Western Coal Corporation for $3.2 billion. If deal talks are successful, Brean Murray Carret & Co analysts say that the combined firm will be one of the world's biggest providers of metallurgical coal. Walter Energy expressed interest in increasing its access to coal as the company has forecast over 50 percent growth in global steel output in the next decade, boosting consumption of coking coal.

The Bedford Report releases regular market updates on the Coal Market so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at and get exclusive access to our numerous analyst reports and industry newsletters.

The news sent the Canadian miners Grade Cache and Cline Mining surging amidst speculation they could also be up for acquisition. A recent report by Reuters states that Grande Cache and Cline together have reserves of about 750 million tons of steelmaking coal, almost double the reserves being touted by the Walter-Western combine.

Now news from yesterday which shows why COAL has nowhere to go but up:

Flooding in northeast Australia cripples state economy, shuts dozens of coal mines

Flooded Australia city faces long wait to dry out
By KRISTEN GELINEAU | Associated Press | Jan 5, 2011 7:06 AM CST in Business

Australia put an army general in charge of flood recovery efforts Wednesday after weeks of heavy rains deluged the country's northeast, crippling the area's economy, including the coal mining industry.

Floodwaters have forced most of Queensland state's coal mines to shut and some may not restart production for months, ministers said at an emergency Cabinet meeting in Brisbane, the state capital.

After the meeting, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced that Maj. Gen. Mick Slater would lead the recovery effort of floods that have affected 200,000 people and are estimated to cost billions of dollars.

"This is a disaster of an unprecedented scale and it will require an unparalleled rebuilding effort," Bligh told reporters.

But until the waters dry up, it won't be clear what the cost of the flooding will be, Bligh warned.

"If you count everything from the cost to homes, the home rebuilding effort, public infrastructure rebuilding effort and economic loss, I think we're well above $5 billion territory," she said.

Queensland is a center of Australia's coal mining industry and 40 mines have been shut because of the flooding.

"It's going to take some months for some mines to be back to full operation," Resources Minister Stephen Robertson said. "We earn 'round about AU$100 million ($100 million) a day exporting coal to the rest of the world and exports have been significantly restricted by the impact on infrastructure."

The deluge has also ruined crops and caused "catastrophic" damage to Queensland's transport systems, Bligh told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

More than a week of pounding rains that started just before Christmas left much of northeastern Australia under a sea of water that is making its way through river systems toward the ocean.

Around 1,200 homes in Queensland have been inundated, with another 10,700 suffering some damage. Four thousand residents evacuated from their homes in the flood zone, which spans an area greater than France and Germany combined.

The coastal city of Rockhampton has been particularly hit and exhausted residents were warned Wednesday they would face a long wait before the churning, muddy mess dries up.

But there was hope the waters had swelled to their highest level. Water from the overflowing Fitzroy River has already swamped 200 homes and 100 businesses, while flooding elsewhere in northeastern Australia has forced thousands to evacuate.

"It looks like it may have stabilized," Mayor Brad Carter said.

In the city of 75,000, about 500 residents were evacuated this week. Even if the waters levels hold, residents face a long wait before things return to normal, officials warned.

"These water levels will be consistently high for a long period of time and these levels could stay for 24 hours before they start to drop," Queensland police Acting Assistant Commissioner Alistair Dawson said.

In other parts of the state, some flooded communities were beginning to dry out. In the town of Theodore, which evacuated all 300 residents last week, specialists arrived in helicopters on Wednesday to check the safety of power, water and sewage plants, county Mayor John Hooper said.

Officials were still trying to determine when it would be safe to allow residents to return. One problem: an influx of venomous snakes, flushed from their habitats and searching for dry ground amid the waters.

Rockhampton residents have also reported seeing higher than usual numbers of snakes, Carter said. Saltwater crocodiles were another worry for people entering floodwaters, as the predators have been spotted from time to time in the Fitzroy, he said.

"There's a lot of snakes _ and I mean a lot," Rockhampton resident Shane Muirhead told Australian Broadcasting Corp. "Like, every hundred yards (meters) you will see a snake, and they're just everywhere."

In the southern Queensland town of St George, nursing home residents evacuated and residents toiled in the rain to build levee banks ahead of floodwaters expected to peak next week. The town was devastated in March by another flood, and residents were worried the latest onslaught of water would cause even more damage.

"People see the floodwaters coming down and say, 'That's my life about to be covered in silt again,'" Senator Barnaby Joyce, a St George resident, told Australia's Sky News. "People are thinking ... we've got no money, no crop, we've really got no future."