DETAILS of a huge coal find on the Central Queensland coastline, potentially worth billions of dollars, have been released to the Australian Stock Exchange.
Explorers International Coal said it had struck the seam within 30km of Bundaberg - a find already backed by billionaire magnate Gina Rinehart.
The site near the farming region of Avondale may also open up the Maryborough Basin, a new coal mining region within four hours of Noosa in the south and two hours from Gladstone in the north.
The junior explorer made its announcement to the Australian Stock Exchange officially on Monday, although rumours of the find were circulating earlier.
The ASX was told that International Coal had a resource of up to 28.5 million tonnes of high-grade coking coal for its Bundaberg project - a much-desired quality of mineral used in producing steel.
International Coal's discovery has already compared well against some of Queensland's best coal from mines including Peak Downs, Moranbah North and Saraji in the Bowen Basin.
Chief executive Glenn Simpson said he was "chuffed" with the results, but this was more of a starting point than a finish line.
"Obviously, this is an early stage. We have more drilling to do to prove (the coal) to a higher level," Mr Simpson said.
"It's an excellent result."
Ms Rinehart's Queensland Coal Investments is already spending $3 million to buy 51% of the project while International benefits from QCI's expertise.
"QCI has been a very good partner to date," Mr Simpson said.
"They have put a lot of work into stakeholder relationships."
Queensland Resources Council boss Michael Roche said such a significant coal find, especially one associated with Gina Rinehart, would "have people sitting up and taking notice" of the Maryborough region as a lucrative coal region.
The coking coal sells for more, so any each similar find will likely encourage others to prospect in the area.
"Look, I think the Maryborough Basin's time will come," he said.
"Realistically, it will still be some time before we see an operating mine in the Maryborough Basin.
"As we see more and more news, we're starting to learn it could well be an important mining district for coking coal in Queensland.
Mr Simpson was reluctant to discuss how or when a mine would be developed, preferring to stick with describing the figures as "a very positive result."
"You're always hoping for an excellent result and you're always very optimistic about a result," Mr Simpson said."We are obviously hoping there is a mine there."
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