Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- BHP Billiton Ltd, the world's largest mining company, will spend $267 million to accelerate development of the Caval Ridge mine and the Hay Point coal terminal in Australia's Queensland state.
"The funds will be used for feasibility studies, the procurement of long-lead time items and initial project activities," Melbourne-based BHP Billiton Ltd. said in a statement today on its Web site. Final approvals for the projects are expected in the third quarter of 2011, it said.
Deutsche Bank AG last week raised its forecast for 2010 coking coal prices by 36 percent to $175 a metric ton because of the return of "real physical demand for commodities." BHP and Japan's Mitsubishi Corp. own the projects together in the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, the world's largest exporter of coking coal used by steelmakers.
Caval Ridge will produce as much as 5.5 million metric tons a year from a mine by the same name and an additional 2.5 million tons from the Peak Downs mine, BHP said. Expanding the coal terminal will increase capacity by 25 percent to 55 million tons a year, it said.
Development of Caval Ridge was delayed by two years in July because of the global recession.