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BHP Billiton gives up plans to offload Gregory coal mine in Australia

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BHP Billiton, an Australian multinational mining company, has stated that the company is not intending to offload its Gregory Crinum coal project in Australia amidst falling commodity prices.

The announcement follows a review process undertaken by the company for the project in February, four months after its closure. The Queensland open-cut mine is jointly owned by BHP and Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi.

BHP Billiton spokesperson was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying that the recent operational improvements conducted at the project supports company's decision to continue operating the mine.

Earlier in May 2012, the company has closed operations at BHP-Mitsubishi joint venture project Norwich Park mine, following its loss-making operations.

The coal miner, however, has decided to resume coal projects with expectations to produce first output by the end of 2014. With these developments, the company is hopeful of increase its coking coal production capacity by more than 40% by 2014-2015, from around 52 million tons recorded in fiscal 2012.

BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie told the website that although the company's investment plan is focused towards U.S. shale-oil production and Western Australia iron ore mines, coal remains one of the core commodities.