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Miners have surged on the Australian share market after major offshore developments for iron ore and coal exporters, and the main indices closed higher.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index closed higher by 25.1 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 6615.3 on Thursday, after US markets had mixed results.

The All Ordinaries closed higher by 36 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 6847.3.

The materials sector, which includes miners, was higher by 3.79 per cent after Brazilian iron ore miner Vale said it would miss its production forecast.

Miners were also buoyed by news that China is allowing shipments of coal, despite recent trade tensions with Australia.

The Aussie dollar was buying 74.08 US cents at 1624 AEDT, higher from 73.67 US cents at Wednesday’s close.