Australia’s Whitehaven Coal said its expansion programme aimed at increasing production at its Narrabri mine in New South Wales, Australia, may make it a takeover target.

Managing director Tony Haggarty said the company is focusing on development plans for the mine and the board and shareholders are open to offers, according to Bloomberg.

China Shenhua Energy and Peabody Energy may be potential suitors for the Narrabri mine.

The Narrabri mine, due to begin output this year, is set to produce about 700,000t a year in its initial production stage, increasing to a planned six million tons in mid-2011.

The $294m development of the mine will increase the company’s total coal production capacity to 11.5 million tons by 2013.