Marcia, a Category 5 cyclone, made landfall on February 20 near Rockhampton in Queensland. Despite widespread structural damage and power outages, the coal ports, most of the railroads and all of the coal mining operations in the region were spared. The storm quickly dissipated after making landfall.
The ports, railroads and mines were prepared. All of the coal mines in the region are operational, according to Michael Roche, chief executive, Queensland Resource Council. Aurizon, the railroad that transports coal from the mines to the ports, said the Blackwater corridor servicing Queensland Bowen Basin reopened on February 22. The Moura line, however, that hauls coal to the Port of Gladstone from five mines in the region, remains closed.
The storm’s trajectory had less of an impact on the coal chain than past storms. Yasi in 2011 was one of the worst in recent memory, costing Queensland coal producers about 40 million metric tons (mt) in lost production.