Expect billion-dollar expansion in Australian iron ore, coal: BHP

Diversified mining behemoth BHP Billiton is expected to pour billions of dollars into Australia in an effort to expand its iron ore and coal facilities, says a report from AFP:

Mining giant BHP Billiton said Friday it would pour billions of dollars into expanding its coal and iron ore operations in Australia, key commodities that are driving the boom in Asian economies.

The cashed-up resource giant said US$7.4 billion would be pumped into continuing production growth in the company’s Western Australia iron ore operations to boost capacity to more than 220 million tonnes a year.

Of that, US$3.4 billion will be used to develop its Jimblebar mine and rail links, and to buy mining equipment and rolling stock.