The privately-owned company is planning to develop the Sonoma mine as an export producer of coking and thermal coal with production slated to begin in the 2006 third quarter.
The reserve area entails three mining leases covering approximately 3500 hectares in the Sonoma area 6km south of Collinsville. Product coal will be railed about 105km to Abbot Point Bulk Coal Terminal for export.
QCoal said the most suitable open cut method for the Sonoma coal seams and overburden is excavator and truck mining as it provides for flexible mining schedules, improved control of overburden dump design and progressive rehabilitation.
Over the 15 year life of the project the mine is expected to produce about 30 million tonnes of product coal, primarily export coking coal.
The company is currently in the process of obtaining environmental approvals for the Sonoma project with a draft Environmental Impact Statement to be submitted shortly.
During May QCoal finalised its User Agreement for the Sonoma Project with Ports Corporation of Queensland, ensuring coal production can be exported.
QCoal is a privately owned Queensland company that has been active in coal exploration and development for more than 10 years, including the successful Coppabella coal mine.