Targeting a mine life of 30 years, the proposed Grosvenor mine is expected to produce 4.3Mtpa of metallurgical coal with construction planned to start in 2012, and full production anticipated in 2016.
The project plans to transport the mined coal using an overland conveyor for processing at the company’s Moranbah North longwall mine.
In its annual results, Anglo expects the project to be approved during the June quarter.
Under the Queensland government’s environmental assessment process, the project is currently receiving public submissions to its environmental impact statement with this period to close on March 22.
The company’s metallurgical coal division increased its annual operating profit 74% last year to $783 million as it made record production and sales of 14.7Mt, 16% higher than 2009 and 12% higher than the previous record in 2008.
Anglo operates five of its six met coal mines in Queensland, but the company noted the production increases were made despite the impacts of Cyclone Ului and record rainfall in the last half of 2010.
“Successful stock management, dewatering capacity, relocation of assets and the quick mobilisation of additional production capacity were key to ensuring that the open cut production recovered as quickly as possible,” Anglo said.
“Combined with improved coal logistics chain management, this enabled the business to deliver record sales volumes in response to stronger demand.
“Productivity improvements at the underground operations were a major focus during the year, particularly in response to the rain disruption at the open cut operations.
“Unit costs were negatively affected by the adverse weather conditions, mitigated by the benefits from the increased production volumes, with export cost per tonne in local currency 1% lower than the previous year.
“A comprehensive rain loss mitigation initiative aimed at reducing the impact of rain at the open cut operations has been initiated.”
Anglo completed the sale of five undeveloped Australian coal assets to a consortium consisting of Cockatoo Coal, Korea Electric Power Corporation and steelmaker Posco in December for $577 million.
Under the transactions, Posco bought a 70% stake of the Sutton Forrest underground coal project in the Sydney Basin, which has since been renamed the Hume project.
Cockatoo holds 30% of this project and has said it holds a deposit of 115 million tonnes of export grade metallurgical and thermal coal.