Peabody to expand Australian coal mine by 1 million tons per year

Peabody Energy (BTU) approved the upgrade and expansion of the Metropolitan Mine in New South Wales, Australia.

The expansion is expected to increase capacity by 1 million tons within several years. Capital investments for the expansion are expected to total $70 million, of which approximately $15 million is targeted for 2010. Metropolitan Mine received final permits to proceed with the expansion in the second half of 2009.

Peabody has multiple Australian expansion projects targeted at raising the company's metallurgical coal shipments to 12 to 15 million tons per year by 2014, while increasing thermal coal export capacity to 15 to 17 million tons per year. Peabody says it is targeting a 20 to 30 percent increase in 2010 thermal exports and met coal shipments to meet growing global demand.

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