The Queensland coal explorer signed the JV with China Coal’s subsidiary China Coal Import & Export Company in April.
China’s Ministry of Commerce has approved the deal with the final Chinese government approval yet to come from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.
The National Development Reform Commission approved the deal a month ago.
“We are very pleased that the approval process for China Coal is progressing positively,” MetroCoal chief executive Mike O’Brien said.
“We are now very close to starting the joint venture and commencing exploration drilling on EPC 1165, Columboola with China Coal.”
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.
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 1.5c or 4.7% to 33.5c this morning.