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BHP approves Bowen basin met coal expansions

World Coal,

BHP Billiton has approved three key met coal projects in the Bowen casin in central Queensland, Australia. The projects will add 4.9 million t of annual mine capacity (100% basis) through development of the Daunia operation and a new mining area at Broadmeadow. In addition, 11 million t of annual port capacity (100% basis) will be developed at the Hay Point coal terminal. The total investment is US$ 5 billion, of which BHP Billiton’s share is US$ 2.5 billion1

The investment includes:

  • US$ 1.6 billion (BHP Billiton share US$ 800 million) for development of the new Daunia mine, adjacent to Poitrel. The mine will have the capacity to produce 4.5 million tpa of export met coal through a new processing facility. First coal is expected in 2013.
  • US$ 900 million (BHP Billiton share US$ 450 million) to extend the life of the Broadmeadow mine by a further 21 years. The investment will also increase productive capacity by 0.4 million tpa, to a new total capacity of 4.8 million tpa. The project is due for completion in 2013.
  • US$ 2.5 billion (BHP Billiton share US$ 1.25 billion) for the Stage Three expansion of the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s wholly owned Hay Point coal terminal, which will increase capacity from 44 million tpa to 55 million tpa. This investment also includes the replacement of the existing jetty to increase its ability to withstand high seas and winds. The expansion will include a new third berth, trestle, surge bins and out-loading conveyors. First shipments from the expanded terminal are expected in 2014.

BHP Billiton met coal president, Hubie van Dalsen said, “The company has a deep pipeline of expansion projects to further develop its large reserves of high quality metallurgical coal. Our strategy is to rapidly progress development of these projects to capture the increasing demand we see for hard coking coal. Subject to further approvals, this initial investment will be followed in the near term by the construction of the Caval Ridge mine, which will utilise expanded Hay Point port capacity created from this investment.”

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