BHP Billiton’s board has approved an $822m investment for the development of the Orebody 24 mine, located about 10km north-east of Newman, Western Australia.

BHP’s share of investment will be $698m for the development of the mine.

Development activities will include construction of an ore crushing plant, train load out facility, rail spur and other associated support facilities.

The mine is expected to start its initial operations in the second half of 2012 and will have a production capacity of 17Mtpa.

BHP Billiton Iron Ore president Ian Ashby said that the mine development is consistent with the firm’s strategy to invest in high-quality, expandable resource basins.