The new technology is expected to allow the recovery of up to 3.9 million tons of additional high quality hard coking coal from the mine, which is located in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

Peabody said the technology improves the recoverability of coal over traditional longwall mining methods, and will allow to mine the full coal seam thickness of 6.5m versus the conventional longwall mining method of 4.2m.

Peabody executive vice president and chief operating officer Eric Ford said the new agreement will lead to greater resource recovery, enhanced productivity and extended mine life.

The equipment is expected to be placed into service in late 2012, the company said.