Wilpinjong ramp up approved

PEABODY Energy has received New South Wales government approval to extract up to 15 million tonnes per annum of raw coal from its Wilpinjong thermal coal mine, 10 kilometres southeast of Xstrata’s Ulan longwall operation.
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Thiess at the Wilpinjong project.

Blair Price

The American coal producer announced the corporate go-ahead for the expansion of the giant mine by 2-3Mtpa in July.

Under the approval, the mine cannot export more than 12Mtpa of product coal or beneficiate more than 8.5Mtpa of raw coal at its coal handling and processing plant.

The approved mining period runs up to February 2027.

Peabody already views Wilpinjong as one of the lowest cost mines in the country.

“The Wilpinjong expansion is among a number of organic growth initiatives to build our global platform for serving the fastest-growing economies and coal markets in the world,” Peabody chairman and chief executive officer Gregory H Boyce said in July.

Peabody is targeting other expansion projects in an attempt to lift its annual Australian coal volumes up to 35-40Mtpa by 2014 with targets of 12-15Mtpa of metallurgical coal and 15-17Mtpa of thermal coal.

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