Peabody Energy (BTU.NYSE), the world’s largest private-sector coal company, said that it would launch a coal mining project in the western autonomous region of Xinjiang in collaboration with the local government, the Wall Street Journal reported. Peabody expects the surface mine to generate 50 million metric tons of coal each year for sale to the China market. Depending on the price of thermal coal, this could lead to revenues in the billions of dollars. Peabody said that it would now begin the search for a specific location for the mine with the local government. China’s government has long sought to direct foreign investment into the Xinjiang region, which is rich in natural resources but prone to bouts of ethnic and religious unrest.