Canadian metallurgical coal miner Grande Cache Coal Corp said it has received regulatory approval to proceed with the development of a new surface mine at Smoky River Coalfield in west-central Alberta.

The Alberta-based company said it expects to produce coal from the No. 8 surface mine during the first quarter of fiscal 2011, which begins April 1, 2010.

The No. 8 mine will provide us with over ten years of good quality surface mining resources, Chief Executive Robert Stan said in a statement.

The company also said it plans to spend about C$180 million ($172.2 million), primarily to increase clean coal production at the existing mine site to 3 million tons per year within the next three fiscal years.

Shares of Grande Cache closed at C$4.07 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

($1=1.045 Canadian dollar) (Reporting by R. Manikandan in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal)