Energy Resources, which controls the coal mine, requested Leighton Asia to expand the production capacity. The contract adjustment will ramp up production rates from current levels to 10 million tonnes per year by June 2011.

Leighton Asia was awarded the mining contract for the UHG mine in February 2009 and coal production commenced in April 2009 with total production of 1.8 million tonnes in the year ended December 31, 2009.

Hamish Tyrwhitt, managing director of Leighton Asia, said: “The request to expand capacity is a result of our success in developing an efficient, world class operation at the UHG mine. Our strong working relationship with Energy Resources and the local communities in the South Gobi region will ensure the continued success of this project.

“We established our office in Ulaanbaatar in 2007. Since that time, our mining experts have focused on establishing a world class commercially competitive mining operation at the UHG mine that meets international best practices in production, training, safety and environmental management.”