AECOM has won a US$12-million design contract from Rio Tinto Coal Australia.

The contract is part of the company’s Kestrel Mine extension project in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. AECOM’s responsibilities will pertain to the completion of the extension’s design scope, including the remaining work required for the surface infrastructure.

The extension will provide new underground and surface infrastructure, which includes new mine access and conveyor drifts to surface, new coal-clearance systems, overland conveying, washplant upgrades, new surface facilities, and backbone infrastructure.

The Kestrel Mine produces high-quality coking coal and thermal coal for export. It uses longwall extraction methods that produce higher resource-recovery rates, use lower volumes of roof-support materials and offer increased roof protection for workers than other mining methods.

“We take pride in the fact that we are applying sustainability principles to our work on this expansive project,” said John M. Dionisio, AECOM president and chief executive officer. AECOM was previously responsible for providing the feasibility study and detailed engineering services for the project.

The first coal shipment from the new mine extension is scheduled for 2012.