Vale is aiming to have an 800 tonne per hour coal handling and preparation plant at Ellensfield, which lies north of the company’s Broadlea mine.
The Ellensfield feasibility study is the third contract awarded to Ausenco by Vale in Australia, following an operational support contract for Isaac Plains and the Carborough Downs engineering, procurement and construction management contract earlier in the year.
Ausenco said Vale was looking at a capital expenditure of around $US14 billion ($A20.5 billion) for its pipeline of global resource and energy projects next year.
The engineering company is currently working on six new or expansion coal projects in eastern Australia, totalling over $US1 billion of expenditure.
Vale says Ellensfield is at an advanced stage of development, along with its Peak Downs East project.