The coal producers include Cockatoo Coal, Cuesta Coal, MetroCoal, Peabody Energy Australia PCI, QC Resource Investments and Whitehaven Coal.

SunWater is an Australian bulk water infrastructure developer and manager.

ACCC Commissioner Joe Dimasi commented that the process will allow companies to save costs and enable coal producers to obtain water supply from the Nathan Dam on a timely basis.

"This will support mining expansions in the Surat and Bowen Basins and is likely to reduce the risk of unnecessary delays in generating additional export revenue," Dimasi added.

ACCC expects little public detriment in this regard as participation in the collective bargaining is voluntary.

Authorization has been granted for 23 years and covers initial contract negotiations as well as possible long term contracts.