BHP Billiton recently approved investment of $845 million to sustain operations at Illawarra Coal, in southern New South Wales, Australia, by establishing a replacement mining area at the Appin mine. The replacement area will have a production capacity of 3.5 million metric tons per year (mt/y) of metallurgical coal and will sustain Illawarra Coal’s production capacity at 9 million mt/y. Appin Area 9 will be operational in 2016 and will replace production at the West Cliff mine. The project includes roadway development, new ventilation infrastructure, new and reconfigured conveyors and other mine services.

“This is good news for local jobs and the economy in the region,” said Hubie van Dalsen, president, metallurgical coal, BHP Billiton. “The investment sustains Illawarra Coal’s production rates and recognizes the value of its high quality metallurgical coal resources.” The development has received all necessary regulatory approvals.