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Peabody Energy announces expansion of Gateway mine, Illinois

World Coal,

Peabody Energy has announced board approval of plans to expand of the Gateway mine, southern Illinois, which will extend the life of the operation by at least 16 years. Gateway has an additional 280 million t of reserves available for expansion in favourable market conditions.

The project will advance underground operations north of the existing site and will increase capacity by 40% to 4.5 million tpa within several years. Capital investments for the expansion are expected to total approximately US $175 million.

"We are expanding Gateway to serve one of the fastest-growing markets in the US," said Gregory H. Boyce, chairman and CEO of Peabody. Licensing and mine engineering activities are progressing, and the initiative is subject to permitting and regulatory approval. The Gateway project is among a number of strategic growth initiatives currently underway.

In Australia, the company is expanding six mines to serve significant Asian demand growth, while in the US, Peabody is increasing operations at the Bear Run mine, Indiana, and production at the El Segundo mine, New Mexico, the first new coal mine developed in the state in 20 years.

Located in Randolph County, Gateway employs a workforce of more than 200 and shipped 3.2 million t of coal to customers throughout the Midwest in 2009.

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