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Queensland Picks Bidders For Massive Abbot Point Coal Expansion

SYDNEY -(Dow Jones)- The government of Australia's Queensland state Thursday selected some of the world's biggest mining companies to build terminals at a planned coal port in the north of the state that could increase global coal trade by more than a third over current levels. The government said that Anglo American PLC (AAL.LN), Rio Tinto PLC (RIO), Vale S.A. (VALE), and privately-owned Waratah Coal had been selected as so-called preferred respondents. A consortium of Peabody Energy Corp. (BTU), New Hope Corp. Ltd. (NHC.AU) and Carabella Resources Ltd. (CLR.AU), known as North Queensland Coal Terminal, was also picked, along with a sixth group, Macmines Australia. The expanded port would have a capacity of 385 million metric tons, compared to global coal trade of 938 million tons in 2010. -By David Fickling, Dow Jones Newswires; +61 2 8272 4689; david.fickling@dowjones.com

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