“Ravensworth North will play a significant role in the continued growth of our New South Wales operations,” said Peter Freyberg, CEO, Xstrata Coal. “The mine will be the culmination of Xstrata Coal’s long term strategy for the area and combines its suite of mineral tenements and assets to realize the considerable synergies on offer from existing operations.”

Construction of the mine is expected to commence in early 2011, subject to the receipt of Development Consent by the New South Wales Department of Planning and Australian Government environmental approvals. First coal is expected to be delivered in July 2012.

“Ravensworth North represents yet another world-class project in Xstrata’s prolific organic growth program,” said Mick Davis, CEO, Xstrata. “We are continuing the development of 20 significant projects in 2010, totaling $14 billion, putting us on track to take advantage of strong commodity markets and deliver against our objective to grow our volumes by 50% by 2014 and reduce our costs by over 20% over the same period.”

The Ravensworth North project will be jointly owned by Cumnock No. 1 Colliery Pty Ltd. (Xstrata Coal, 90%) and ICRA Cumnock Pty Ltd. (Itochu, 10%).