Macmahon Holdings have been awarded a contract for coal mining at the massive Tavan Tolgoi mine in Mongolia.
Working in a joint venture with German firm Operta GmBH, the contract runs for five years and is estimated to be worth more than US$ 500 million.
It involves large scale open cut mining in the Eastern Tsankhi area of the Tavan Tolgoi deposit.
Mining will begin in January next year, at a rate of three million tonnes off coal per annum.
Production is expected to ramp up in 2013 to around six million tonnes.
Coal production is expected to increase to 15 million tonnes annually once the entire mine and transport infrastructure is established.
Macmahon CEO Nick Bowen voiced his excitement at participating in "one of the world’s largest emerging mining region".
Mongolia has come under the spotlight as one of the most prospective regions in decade, with vast unexplored areas, and two of the world’s largest mine in the Tavan Tolgoi and Oyu Tolgoi operations.