The agreement was signed during a ceremony in the Xinjiang capital of Urumqi with Peabody Chairman and CEO Greg Boyce, Peabody Senior Vice President Fred Palmer, Peabody President of Asia Zhenchun Shi and senior Xinjiang government officers. Party members involved in creating the agreement include Party Secretary Zhang Chunxian, Governor Nuer Baikeli and Vice Governor Kurexi Maihasuti.

Under terms of the agreement, Peabody would construct, manage and operate the mine, which would be one of the largest surface mines in China, using best practices in safety, training, productivity, resource recovery, environmental standards and land restoration.

The Xinjiang Region is China’s largest administrative region with vast reserves of coal estimated to account for approximately 40% of China’s reserves. The government expects Xinjiang’s coal output will increase from approximately 100 million mt in 2010 to more than 1 billion mt. A new rail link under construction is expected to be on line by 2013 and will further open the region to China’s fast-growing energy markets.