Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- BHP Billiton Ltd., the world's largest mining company, formally approved $1.93 billion of capital spending to speed expansion of its Australian iron ore business.
Stage six of the company's Rapid Growth Project aims to boost its iron ore production capacity to 240 million metric tons a year during 2013, Melbourne-based BHP said in a statement.
The money will be used for rail track duplication works as well as the expansion of the inner harbor at Port Hedland and the Jimblebar mining operation, BHP said. Approval for the balance of the capital for the plan will be considered in the second half of 2010, BHP iron ore president Ian Ashby said.
BHP shares closed 1 percent higher yesterday on the Australian stock exchange at A$40.70.