BHP Billiton will spend nearly $US10 bn to expand iron ore operations and energy and metallurgical coal projects in Australia.

The miner will spend $US6.6bn in an iron ore project expansion in Western Australia, $US2.5bn to expand three metallurgical coal projects in Queensland and $400M on an energy coal project in NSW.

The company said it and its partners would spend $US7.4bn to develop the Jimblebar mine and rail links, to further develop Port Hedland, Western Australia and to build ore blending facilities, taking the iron ore capacity to 220Mt/y.

The company also approved spending $US2.5bn on three coking coal projects in the Bowen Basin in central Queensland. BHP’s share is half of the total $US5 billion to be spent on the expansion.

BHP Billiton said the projects would add 4.9Mt/y of mine capacity to the Daunia operation and a new mining area at Broadmeadow.

In a third statement, BHP Billiton said it would also spend $US400M to expand Hunter Valley Energy Coal in NSW, to increase coal production by 4Mt/y to about 24Mt/y.