SouthGobi Resources is planning to obtain a mining licence for its second coal pit in Mongolia by the end of the year.

CEO Alexander Molyneux said the company will apply for a permit for the Soumber deposit in the next few months.

About $205m is needed to develop the mine, which will start production by 2012.

Molyneus added that Soumber’s reserves of coking coal are higher than a previous estimate of 77 million metric tons, according to Bloomberg.

SouthGobi operates the Ovoot Tolgoi pit in the deserts of southern Mongolia.

China Investment owns a 13% interest in SouthGobi, which plans to produce about 14 million tons of unprocessed coal in 2013, compared with 1.3 million tons in 2009.