BHP Billiton and Norilsk Nickel are going to mine coal in the Arctic by 2015.

The companies said they will mine the resource at the Syradasai deposit near the port of Dikson on the Kara Sea.

Norilsk’s transport department deputy director for production development Nikolai Matyushenko said from 2015 both companies plan to initially mine eight million tonnes of output a year before hitting a target of 12-15 million tonnes.

The project will involve the development of a processing unit and a power plant at the Syradasai deposit.

The two companies also intend to construct a shipping terminal that can handle vessels with 70,000dwt capacity.

Funding details are not yet disclosed.