BHP Billiton has unveiled plans to invest $845m to sustain operations at Illawarra Coal in southern New South Wales, Australia, by opening a replacement mining area at its Appin Mine.
BHP Billiton Metallurgical Coal president Hubie van Dalsen said the investment will sustain Illawarra coal's production rates and is being made in recognition of the value of its high quality metallurgical coal resources.
"It is also good news for local jobs and the economy in the region," added Dalsen.
The company said Appin Area 9 will have a production capacity of 3.5 million tonnes per year of metallurgical coal from 2016, replacing production at the West Cliff Mine.
The Appin Area 9 project includes roadway development, new ventilation infrastructure, new and reconfigured conveyors and other mine services.
BHP said it has received all necessary regulatory approvals for the Appin Area 9 project, which will be operational in 2016.
Image: By 2016, the Appin Area 9 project will have a production capacity of 3.5 million tonnes per year of metallurgical coal. Photo: BHP Billiton.