Mining giant BHP Billiton has approved investment of US$845 million to establish a replacement mining area at its Appin Mine in New South Wales, Australia.
The replacement mining area will sustain operations at Illawarra Coal and will have a production capacity of 3.5 million tonnes per year of metallurgical coal, sustaining production capacity at nine million tonnes per year.
Appin Area 9 will be operational in 2016 and will replace production at the West Cliff Mine. The project includes roadway development, new ventilation infrastructure, new and reconfigured conveyors and other mine services.
The development has received all necessary regulatory approvals, the company said.
Commenting on the news, BHP Billiton’s Metallurgical Coal president, Hubie van Dalsen, said: “The investment sustains Illawarra Coal’s production rates and recognises the value of its high quality metallurgical coal resources.
"It is also good news for local jobs and the economy in the region.”