Whitehaven Coal receives final approval for its A$767 million Maule Creek project

The Maule Creek Project, a proposed coal mine in New South Wales that will cost A$767 million to build and took three years of regulatory review, was given final approval today, says Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC).

Production is expected by the second half of 2014. When operating the mine will employ between 340 to 470 full-time workers.

Whitehaven estimates output at 13 Mt of coal per year with a capacity to ship 12.4 Mt by rail per year.

To get this far Whitehaven has spent A$160 million leaving approximately $607 million to spend.

The company laid out its immediate construction plans.

"Initial site preparation including fencing, storage and access roads will commence next week," said the company in a news release.

"The most critical element of the construction phase is the rail spur and loop. The contract for the design and construction of the rail infrastructure is in the final stages of negotiation prior to execution."

Whitehaven was up 1.79% to A$2.28. Its 52-week range is A$1.77 to A$4.34