Newcastle Chapter

Gunnedah Basin Geology

Mark Dawson

The Gunnedah Basin hosts large resources of predominantly thermal coal within an Early Permian to Middle Triassic structural basin that is currently the subject of much exploration and mining activity. The limits of the Gunnedah Basin extend from Williow Tree to Dubbo to Moree. Coal in the Gunnedah Basin is present within two Permian packages: 1) The Bellata Group (Early Permian); and, 2) the Black Jack Group (Late Permian).

A structural high, Boggabri Ridge, splits the basin into two sub-basins – Mullaley and Maules Creek. Significant coal deposits within the Mullaley Sub-basin are located in the Caroona, Watermark and Narrabri regions. Major thermal coal resources include the Hoskissons and Melvilles seams.

In the Maules Creek Sub-basin, the major thermal, PCI and soft coking coal deposits include the Maules Creek, Boggabri, Vickery and Tarrawonga deposits. Some unallocated resource potential areas are also present.

The Gunnedah Basin also hosts significant unallocated coal resources in Borambil, West Gunnedah, Benelabri, and West Boggabri.

The presentation will include geologic information and examples of mining issues.

Speaker biography

Mark Graduated from University of New England (Armidale) with a BSc (Hons) in Geology in 2000. He then worked for MIM Exploration in SA, NT, and north-western Queensland exploring for copper and gold. From 2001 to 2006, Mark worked with NSW Dept of Mineral resources (Geological Survey and Coal Group) doing regional geology and mineral potential assessments. Mark joined Whitehaven Coal in 2006 as a Project Geologist and in 2008, Mark progressed to Group Geologist.

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