Essar Energy said it has received final forest approval for its Aries coal mine project in the West Kutai region of East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Essar will start mine development operations at the block, which has been found to host 64 million tonnes of mineable coal reserves with potential production of 4 million tonnes of coal annually.

The company purchased a 100% stake in the Aries coal mine in April 2010 for $118m, which covers an area of 5,000ha.

Essar Energy chief executive officer Naresh Nayyar said that with the approval the company can now accelerate development at the Aries coal mine to provide fuel for its Salaya I power plant.

"This is a major step forward in our strategy of providing full fuel security for all of our power generation assets, thereby eliminating price and delivery risks," Nayyar said.

The company has already begun building the supporting road and port infrastructure while the first coal shipments are expected to be ready within nine to 12 months.