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10/04/2012 06:02:00

Anglo To Start Moranbah South Coal Mine Development By 2014

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PERTH -(Dow Jones)- Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN) plans to begin construction of its Moranbah South coking coal project by 2014, leading to peak exports of 14 million metric tons a year, the miner said Tuesday in documents lodged with the Australian Government's environmental web site.

First output from the mining venture in Queensland state may begin in 2017, Anglo American said in the environmental referral documents.

The project, a 50-50 joint venture with South Africa's Exxaro Resources Ltd. (EXX.JO), is part of Anglo American's plans to boost its Australian coal output significantly.

In October, Anglo American Chief Executive Cynthia Carroll said the company may spend up to US$15 billion expanding its coking coal operations in Queensland state in the next eight years, creating more than 3,200 jobs.

Moranbah South, 150 kilometers southwest of Mackay, involves the construction and operation of an underground coal mine.

It is anticipated to have annual peak production of up to 18 million tons of run-of-mine coal, which equates to approximately 14 million tons of "high quality coking coal for the export market", Anglo American said in the documents.

Abbot Point is the preferred coal terminal for export, with Dalrymple Bay and Dudgeon Point as other options, it said, adding the project has a mine life in excess of 30 years.

Anglo American has submitted an application to the Queensland Government to prepare a voluntary Environmental Impact Assessment for Moranbah South.

-By Stephen Bell, contributing to Dow Jones Newswires; +61-8-9244424

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 10, 2012 00:02 ET (04:02 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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