Mount Arthur North
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Mount Arthur North is an existing open cut thermal coal mine owned by BHP Billiton and located 5 km south-west of Muswellbrook.
The open cut project was first approved in mid-2001 at a projected cost of US$411 million. At the time BHP Billiton stated that the mine "will be capable of producing up to 15 million tonnes of raw coal per annum". (The company stated that full production from Mount Arthur North was expected to produce 12.1 million tonnes per annum of saleable coal from 2006 on.) The company stated that "a portion of the initial production will be supplied under contract for five years to Macquarie Generation for local power station electricity generation, delivered by an existing overland conveyor."
The underground mine expansion project has received government approvals and is expected to be commissioned in 2011. The mine will produce 8 million tonnes of thermal coal and cost $320 million to construct. The project is projected to employ 250 people when operating.