Idemitsu Australia coal licence extended to 2033

TOKYO, July 20 Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:09am EDT

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TOKYO, July 20 (Reuters) - Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co said on Friday its Boggabri coal mine has been given an approval to extend its mining licence to 2033, while other firms have cut operations there due to sliding thermal coal prices.

The New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission also allowed the Boggabri mine to double production to 7 million tonnes a year, a company spokesman said.

Global miner Rio Tinto this week became the latest firm to cut coal mining jobs in Australia as miners face a squeeze from rising wage, equipment and fuel bills, new taxes, growing coal exports from the United States, and softer demand in China.

Currently, Idemitsu, Japan's third-largest oil refiner, produces some 10 million tonnes a year of thermal and coking coals in Australia for exports mainly to Asia. (Reporting by Risa Maeda, editing by William Hardy)

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