1.2 Resource assessment for the Gwydir subregion

Executive summary

Gwydir River near Pallamallawa © CSIRO Photo taken by CSIRO team member during BA field trip

The coal and coal seam gas resource assessment for the Gwydir subregion summarises the known coal and coal seam gas resources and developments as at October 2014.

The information found in this product is used to develop the coal resource development pathway for the subregion.

Coal and coal seam gas resources

The coal and coal seam gas resources of the Gwydir subregion have not been extensively explored, and so limited published information is available on the distribution and properties of the subregion’s resources.

Coal seams are contained within the Bowen, Gunnedah and Surat geological basins in the subregion.

The Bellata Trough is the main structural formation in the Gunnedah Basin and hosts the Maules Creek Formation and the Black Jack Group coal deposits. In the Surat Basin coals are present within the Bungil and Orallo formations as well as in the Walloon Coal Measures.

In the Gunnedah-Bowen Basin the Hoskissons Coal, Maules Creek Formation and Moolayember Formation had been targeted for assessment of coal seam gas development potential. In the Surat Basin some exploration had occurred in the Walloon Coal Measures and the Bungil Formation.

Current activity and tenements

As at October 2014 there were no coal mines in operation and no commercial coal seam gas extraction had occurred in the Gwydir subregion.

Proposals and exploration

As at October 2014 coal exploration had not been pursued in the Gwydir subregion.  And while there were no proposals for coal seam gas developments at this time, some preliminary exploration had occurred.

In the north-eastern part of the subregion some exploration had occurred in the Walloon Coal Measures and was found to be commercially unviable.

The Bungil Formation (in the central and central-west of the subregion) and the Moolayember Formation (in the central area) had also been explored. No gas volumes of commercial significance were found.

In October 2014 the Hoskinssons Coal and the Maules Creek, Moolayember and Bungil Formations all had low reservoir permeability, which indicated that these coals were not likely to produce coal seam gas at economic rates without use of technology that was unproven in Australia.

Last updated:
1 April 2016