Whitehaven given go-ahead for Maules Creek project

Whitehaven coal has jumped after Maules Creek project received approval to begin construction.

Whitehaven coal jumped after its $767 million Maules Creek project received final approval to begin construction, with first coal sales expected in the second half of 2014.

The company's stock lifted 2.7% to $2.30 at 1428 AEST. It has climbed more than 20% in the past three months.

Australia's largest pure-play coal miner expects to employ 340 full time employees and contractors for the construction of its biggest mining development – which will begin next week– and around 470 when the project begins operating (see Tim Treadgold's Black clouds clear over Whitehaven). 

The mine is approved to extract up to 13 million tonnes of coal per annum, of which 12.4 million tonnes can be railed from the site each year. 

Back in April, Whitehaven forecasted total coal sales of nine million tonnes, including 0.9 million tonnes of purchased coal, for the 2013 financial year.

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