Australian coal miner Whitehaven coal has secured final approvals to begin construction of its A$767m ($697.69m) Maules Creek Project located in the Gunnedah Basin in New South Wales (NSW).

Maules Creek Project has a large reserve of high quality coal, a low stripping ratio of 6.4:1, relatively low capital development costs and competitive operating costs, the company said.

The project is expected to employ 340 full time equivalent employees and contractors in the construction phase and about 470 during ongoing operations.

Whitehaven Coal Managing Director Paul Flynn said, "Throughout the three-year approval phase our project development team has developed an extremely comprehensive project delivery strategy, which has been validated by all levels of government, and we will be commencing construction imminently now that contracts can be executed."

The mine is approved to extract up to 13 million tons of coal per annum and rail 12.4 million tons from the site in a year.