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>> A race to get the wheels of industry rolling again down under. A day after a major storm left the entire state of South Australia without power, an area five times the size of the UK. Local media says lightning struck up to 100,000 times on Wednesday causing a surge on the grid that shut down the entire system forcing ports to close and plunging traffic into chaos.
Reuter's Jonathan Barrett says the State's valuable mining industry is struggling to reboot.>> About 90% of power has been turned back on but key industrial and mining areas are still without power. BHP has major operation there, the Olympic Dam gold, copper, and uranium mine. These sorts of projects have backup power supplies, but they're simply just to keep the lights on.
They have had to halt production, as have many other Industrial players.>> At 300,000 tons a year, Olympic Dam produces almost 15% of BHP Billiton's entire copper output. The company has no information on when it will be able to start back up. Australia's energy minister says the government is now taking steps to figure out why the power system buckled.
>> We will be asking some very hard questions of the energy market operator. As to why this event occurred, and how we can ensure it not happening again.>> Meanwhile weather officials warn that South Australia isn't out of the woods yet, police urging people in the capital city of Adelaide to leave work early on Thursday, as more wild weather blows in.