China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange agreed to transfer the funds to the Australian subsidiary of the Chinese coal company, China Coal Import & Export Company.
MetroCoal chief executive Mike O’Brien said the company was now on the verge of starting the joint venture with China Coal.
“As soon as funds are received, exploration will be commencing on the Columboola coal project,” he said this morning.
Under the agreement, the Chinese coal company will get a 51% interest in the project for spending $30 million on the exploration of the tenement.
A minimum of $4 million must be spent within the first two years.
The transaction already has Foreign Investment Review Board approval.
CCIEC will also gain the first right to enter JVs for other MetroCoal tenements once the Columboola JV is completed.
MetroCoal aims to be the first company to bring longwall mining to the thermal coal-rich Surat Basin.
O’Brien was general manager of the South Bulli longwall mine in 1991-92.
MetroCoal shares are up half a cent at 36.5c.