Coal mining and marketing firm Centennial Coal has officially opened the Airly mine located near the Capertee village in New South Wales' western coalfields, Australia.

The 80 million tonne underground thermal coal mine has a projected lifespan of around 20 years.

Centennial Coal aims to produce up to 1.8 million tonnes of coal per annum from this mine.

The company began initial production at the mine in December 2009, and the mine loaded the first train bound for South Korea via Port Kembla in April last year.

Centennial Coal managing director and CEO Bob Cameron is quoted by as saying that the company has made a significant investment in building this mine and is firmly committed to a long term future in the valley.