BHP Billiton announced approval of an investment to expand Hunter Valley Energy Coal in New South Wales, Australia. The $400 million expansion, known as the RX1 Project, will enable Mt Arthur Coal’s run-of-mine thermal coal production to increase by 4 million metric tons per year (mt/y), to approximately 24 million mt/y. RX1 is substantially a mine only expansion without an associated increase in coal preparation plant capacity.

RX1 is expected to deliver first production in the second half of the 2013. “The emergence of demand for coal in the key growth markets allows us to get product to market quickly, ahead of further coal preparation plant expansions,” said Jimmy Wilson, president, BHP Billiton Energy Coal. “Importantly, the RX1 Project will take advantage of existing port capacity and future expansion options will be supported by Mt Arthur Coal’s large, low-cost resource and the ability to expand the coal processing facilities.”

BHP Billiton owns 100% of Mt Arthur Coal through Hunter Valley Energy Coal Pty Ltd.

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