SYDNEY, Mar. 29 -- A tropical cyclone has forced BHP Billiton (BHP.AX: Quote)(BLT.L: Quote) to halt production at the Groote Eylandt manganese mine in Australia's far north, the company said on Monday.
The Groote Eylandt Mining Co (Gemco), 60 per cent owned by BHP and 40 percent by South Africa's Anglo American Corp (AAL.L: Quote), progressively brought mining to a halt late on Sunday as a precautionary measure, according to BHP.
"The operations remain closed today (Monday), as the weather is closely monitored," BHP said in a statement emailed to Reuters.
The mine produces more than 3.8 million tonnes annually, or about a quarter of the world's total.
Separately, U.S. major ConocoPhillips (COP.N: Quote), which operates the Darwin liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the region, said it would monitor the storm's path but that the facility was running normally.
Communities along the Northern Territory's east coast are on alert for destructive winds and possible flooding from cyclone Paul, which reached land earlier on Monday, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
The cyclone is expected to move inland over the next two days, packing winds of up to 130 km (81 miles) per hour, it said.