1.2 Resource assessment for the Clarence-Moreton bioregion

Executive summary

​Rainforest waterfall in Border Ranges National Park, NSW, 2008 Credit: Liese Coulter, CSIRO

The coal and coal seam gas resource assessment for the Clarence-Moreton bioregion summarises the known coal and coal seam gas resources and developments as at December 2014. 

Coal resource development and exploration in the Clarence-Moreton bioregion are subject to different legislation depending on the state in which the resource lies: New South Wales or Queensland.

The information found in this product is used to develop the coal resource development pathway for the Clarence-Moreton bioregion.

Coal and coal seam gas resources

The geological Clarence-Moreton Basin contains substantial coal resources. Within the Clarence-Moreton bioregion these resources are mostly in the Ipswich, Walloon and Nymboida coal measures.

Across the bioregion, the thickness of coal-bearing resources is variable. The thickest resources occur within the Walloon Coal Measures to the north of Casino* in New South Wales. Here the coal thickness is typically less than 100 metres.

Both conventional and unconventional gas resources occur within the geological basin within the Clarence-Moreton bioregion. In some areas such as the Casino Trough, the coal in the bioregion is fully or close to fully saturated with methane gas.

Current activity and tenements

As at November 2014 one coal mine, the Jeebropilly Mine located near Amberley, west of Ipswich in south-east Queensland, was operational in the Clarence-Moreton bioregion. There was no commercial coal seam gas production in the bioregion. Two kilometre coal seam gas exclusion zones were introduced by the New South Wales Government in October 2013 for existing residential zones.

Proposals and exploration

As at November 2014 there were no proposals for the development of new coal mines within the Clarence-Moreton bioregion. However parts of the Clarence-Moreton bioregion in Queensland were covered by petroleum exploration permits.

In New South Wales the economic potential of the Nymboida Coal Measures was explored for coal mining. In Queensland, resources at the Amberley Deposit, west of Ipswich, were also explored, although there were no development proposals at the time of this asessment.

Gas exploration has been occurring across the bioregion in both Queensland and New South Wales. As of November 2014 there were 105 coal seam gas exploration wells drilled. The major target is the Walloon Coal Measures, although the commercial viability of the Ipswich Coal Measures for coal seam gas was also explored.

* While the area near Casino in the Richmond river basin was considered prospective for coal seam gas, the exploration licence that was held by Metgasco Limited was surrendered in December 2015.

Last updated:
8 January 2018