1.2 Resource assessment for the Gloucester subregion

Executive summary

View of the Gloucester valley NSW with the Barrington River and associated riparian vegetation in the foreground and the township Gloucester in the distance looking south from the Kia Ora Lookout, 2013 Credit: Heinz Buettikofer, CSIRO

The coal and coal seam gas resource assessment for the Gloucester 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 Gloucester subregion.

Coal and coal seam gas resources

Coal resources in the geological Gloucester Basin, which underlie the Gloucester subregion, are numerous and well documented. The coal was found in seams approximately 30 metres thick and at depths of 200 to 700 metres.

Within the Gloucester subregion the oldest coal measures are in the Alum Mountain Volcanics, followed by coals in the Dewrang Group and the Avon and Craven subgroups.

Over 83 million tonnes of coal lie in reserves in the Gloucester subregion, with a further 357 million tonnes of estimated coal resources.

Coal seam gas resources are known to exist in the subregion following the discovery of gaseous hydrocarbons.   

Current activity and tenements

In October 2014 there were two open-cut mines operating in the Gloucester subregion — Duralie in the south and the Stratford Mining Complex in the north. In total the mines produced and sold approximately 2 to 2.3 million tonnes of coal in 2013.

High coal seam gas content was indentified in a pilot project at Stratford in 2008. Despite this discovery, most coal seam gas exploration has focused on a small area, east of Stratford, where up to 11 major coal seams occur. As at October 2014 no full-scale coal seam gas operations have been undertaken in the subregion. 

The deep-drilling Waukivory Project has demonstrated commercially viable gas content and flows. 

Proposals and exploration

As at October 2014 there were three mining proposals. These were the expansion of open-cut mines at both the Duralie and Stratford Mining Complex developments and a new open-pit coal mine at Rocky Hill in the north of the Gloucester Basin. At that time it was unclear if the development of the 112-square-kilometre Rocky Hill site would go ahead.

In addition to the Waukivory Pilot Project in the Gloucester subregion, the Gloucester Gas Project* was targeting the Gloucester Coal Measures at depths of 200 to 1000 metres. Up to 110 gas wells and associated infrastructure were proposed in Stage 1.

* In February 2016, AGL announced it would not proceed with the Gloucester Gas Project.

Last updated:
5 January 2018