UPDATE 1-Five coal mines in Queensland closed due to weather- port

Wed Dec 8, 2010 2:52am EST

* Some companies declare force majeure on Gladstone shipments

* Queensland rains to continue affecting output (Adds details)

PERTH Dec 8 (Reuters) - Five mines in Australia's Queensland state were forced shut as flooding and bad weather swept through the region, Gladstone Ports Corporation said on Wednesday.

The mines include Xstrata's Rolleston, Yancoal Australia's Minerva, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance's Blackwater, Jellinbah Resources' Jellinbah mine, and Ensham Resources' Ensham mine.

In addition, a number of unnamed coal companies have decided to exercise force majeure on coal shipments out of the Port of Gladstone, the port said.

"Gladstone Ports Corporation is not able to comment on which individual coal companies have taken this action," Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) spokeswoman Lee McIvor told Reuters in an email.

Ensham Resources was one of the companies that declared force majeure out of Gladstone port, according to a shipping and logistics firm. [ID:nL3E6N708B]

Several other Queensland-based coal producers have also been affected by unseasonal rains in the state as eastern Australia experiences its wettest spring on record.

The Australian weather bureau is forecasting more rainfall through the end of the week, and has said the unusually wet weather in eastern Australia is due to a La Nina weather event. [ID:nL3E6N609F]

Macarthur Coal declared force majeure at its Coppabella and Moorvale coal mines and Isaac Plains coal mine, a 50-50 joint venture between Aquila Resources and Vale , also declared force majeure last week. [ID:nL3E6N30F3] (Reporting by Rebekah Kebede; Editing by Ed Davies)

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