By Oliver Griffin
BHP Billiton PLC (BLT.LN) said Thursday that it has approved $2.9 billion worth of capital expenditure for its South Flank iron-ore project in central Pilbara, Western Australia.
The dual-listed mining company said the project will fully replace production from the 80 million-ton-a-year Yandi mine, which is reaching the end of its economic life.
First ore from South Flank is targeted in 2021 and BHP Billiton said it expects the project will produce ore for more than 25 years.
In June last year, BHP Billiton approved an initial funding commitment of $184 million. The company has an 85% interest in the project, with the remaining 15% jointly owned by ITOCHU Minerals & Energy of Australia Pty and Mitsui Iron Ore Corporation Pty.
London-listed shares at 1052 GMT were down 1.8% at 1,717.60 pence.
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