Global miner Anglo American said on Tuesday its board had approved the $1.7 billion (1 billion pounds) Grosvenor metallurgical coal project in Queensland, Australia, which is expected to produce five million tonnes per year over a projected life of 26 years.

The expected capital expenditure, of $1.7 billion, represented a highly competitive capital intensity ratio for the greenfield project, the miner said.

Anglo American is delivering substantial near term production growth, across our copper, nickel and iron ore businesses, with two of our four major strategic growth projects already coming on stream during 2011, Cynthia Carroll, Chief Executive of Anglo American, said in a statement.

Grosvenor is the first of our next phase growth projects.

The Grosvenor project is 100 percent owned by Anglo American and is part of the group's strategy of tripling production of metallurgical coal, coal used in steelmaking, from its Australian assets by 2020.

(Reporting by Clara Ferreira-Marques; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)