Bangladesh's High Court has decided former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia can stand trial on corruption charges involving a contract for a coal mine with a Chinese company.

The court on Thursday quashed Zia's petition to scrap the case filed in 2008 by the country's official anti-corruption watchdog.

A state counsel says the case will go ahead while the defense says it will appeal.

The charges accuse Zia and 15 others of causing millions of dollars of losses to the state exchequer by awarding the contract of Barapukuria coal mine to China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC). The Chinese company got the award to operate, manage and maintain the coal mine.