By David Winning

SYDNEY--South32 said it expects it will take around a year to restart manganese ore exports from Australia following cyclone damage, unless it can find an alternative shipping option.

Operations at Gemco--Groote Eylandt Mining Company--in the Northern Territory were suspended last month after Tropical Cyclone Megan caused extensive damage to key infrastructure there, including the wharf and a haulage road bridge that connects the northern pits of the Western Leases mining area and the processing plant.

On Monday, South32 said engineering studies on the wharf and haulage road bridge have begun, which will determine how quickly they can be brought back into use and likely restoration costs.

South32 said it expects operations at the wharf and export sales to restart some time between January and March, 2025.

"Alternative shipping options are being evaluated to mitigate the impact of the wharf outage," said South32. "These options may establish partial ore export capability in advance of the wharf restoration."

South32, which withdrew guidance for its Australian manganese operation while it assessed the damage, said it is working to determine how much can be recovered under its insurance policy.

Write to David Winning at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-21-24 1926ET