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Bringing Coal Basins into Focus

In 2003, SRK initiated a major study of the structural framework for the region that covers the Sydney Basin and the eastern part of Gunnedah Basin. Initially, four coal mining companies supported the study, with release slated for early 2004. In the latter part of 2003 and 2004, interest in the study increased and sponsorship more than doubled, allowing SRK to undertake a major update of the initial work. The updated study has been available for general purchase since November 2005.

Since the initial release of the Sydney Basin Study in January 2004, SRK has continued to make advances in the field of 4D regional basin interpretations. As a result, the evolving regional study continues to attract a broader audience and the study results enjoy wider use. SRK is currently well advanced towards completing a second major study that encompasses the Bowen and Surat Basins. This study is currently being finalised and is due for release in January 2008.

The studies were designed to develop a structural model of the basin to assist companies in assessing and managing a range of issues concerned with geological risks that affect their existing leases, or in evaluating such risks when looking at acquiring new ground. SRK has received substantive comments from professionals using the studies, which suggest that sponsor companies are beginning to reap dividends through this unique opportunity to optimize exploration and minimize risks related to mining. See ‘Sponsors have their Say’, facing page.


The SRK study team includes a core group of five consultants from our Maitland, Sydney and Brisbane offices with more than 40 years of combined experience. An additional six in-house consultants provide periodic support and two specialist associates contribute technical guidance and peer review.

Sponsors have their Say

“We have found both the Sydney and Bowen Basin studies very useful not only in regional assessments but also in interpreting and assessing localized mine based issues. The application of regional datasets to individual mine based problems has enabled a broader perspective to be used, which in turn has provided solutions and interpretations that otherwise would not have been available to mine management.” – Michael Creech, Manager Geology & Resources, Peabody Coal (formerly Chief Geologist with Excel Coal Pty Ltd).

“The Queensland Department of Mines and Energy supports the Structural Synthesis project as it will assist coal and petroleum exploration and development in the State’s major energy province. The project will add value to existing data and provide a framework for future geological studies in the Bowen and Surat Basins. The Department encourages other companies to join in on this practical research project.” – Dave Mason, Director, Geological Survey of Queensland & Natural Resource Information and John Draper, Geoscience Manager, Coal and Petroleum, Geological Survey of Queensland.

“Anglo Coal Australia is very satisfied with our participation in SRK’s Sydney Basin Structural Synthesis Study. We have used the project database on a number of occasions to date, both for general information purposes, and in specific geological projects. We believe the data package to be a good compilation of applicable information, and with it having been provided in a format easily integrated into our existing geological databases, it has been very easy to utilise.” – Dr Peter Jorgensen, Project Geologist (Growth & Strategy), Anglo Coal Australia Pty Ltd.

“The Sydney Basin Regional Structure Synthesis has been very useful in understanding geological structures, fracture zones and basement controls of deposition in our coal seam gas systems and CO natural analogue studies in the basin.” – Dr Mohinudeen Faiz, Research Scientist (Coal Seam Gas and Organic Petrology, CSIRO Division of Petroleum Resources.

Bryce Healy:
Chris Woodfull:

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