China's largest open-pit coal mine in Haerwusu in northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is set to start production, Shenhua Zhungeer Energy Co., Ltd. told Xinhua on Sunday.
Its estimated coal output was forecast at 7 million tonnes in the fourth quarter this year, but the company didn't specify the exact date when the mine would be put into production.
With a designed annual capacity of 20 million tonnes of crude coal, it is scheduled to run 79 years.
The total investment of the project topped 7 billion yuan (US$1.02 billion), the company said.
Its coal reserves total about 1.73 billion tonnes. It is rich in low-sulfur steam coal.
The project will step up construction of the large national energy base in the western part of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and help ease the pressure on the country's energy sector.
Beijing-based Shenhua Group is China's leading coal producer.
(Xinhua News Agency October 20, 2008)