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$270 million boost for BHP Billiton coal mining with Caval Ridge Southern Circuit

A new conveyor belt is set to be built with the nearby Peak Downs mine to ensure greater productivity for BHP Billiton and will create 400 new jobs.

Major new investment will see the coal handling preparation plant at Caval Ridge mine in Queensland become able to reach its annual throughput capacity by connecting to the nearby Peak Downs mine.

An 11km overland conveyor belt will be built to transport coal from there to the preparation plant as part of a $270 million (AUS) investment and it will see 10 million tonnes of coal processed each year.

‘The Caval Ridge Southern Circuit capital growth project’ has been scheduled to begin later this year and construction will take 18 months.

The existing plant and stockyard will be upgraded as part of the project, while new stockpile pad and run-of-mine station are being built at Peak Downs. The BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, which runs the site, will also invest in a fleet of new vehicles.

BHP Billiton’s President of Operations, Minerals Australia, Mike Henry said: “The project will accelerate growth and productivity.

“This investment furthers our productivity agenda, reduces costs, releases latent equipment capacity, and strengthens the global competitiveness of our coal business.

“We are committed to Queensland’s Bowen Basin and this project creates new employment opportunities during construction and locks in ongoing operational roles.”

The company say up to 400 new construction positions are set to be created thanks to the project whilst approximately 200 current jobs will remain secure.