There are no field exploration activities currently underway. 


Exploration activities undertaken to date in each of EL6523, and EL6524 and EL6563, are identified below.

EL 6523

2010 Exploration Area

The 2010 Exploration Area, located at the southeast corner of EL6523 approximately 4km to 7km southeast of Gloucester, was the focus of much of GRL’s early exploration in the Gloucester region. The program involved 15,276 metres drilling in a combination of open and cored holes. All holes were geophysical logged. This program helped to define the resource in the area and, together with extensive environmental studies, enabled the definition and design of the Rocky Hill Coal Project.

Further detail on the Rocky Hill Coal Project can be found at:

2010 Exploration Area

FIGURE - 2010 Exploration Area (click to enlarge)

The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) submitted to NSW Industry and Investment for the 2010 Exploration Program was approved in July 2010.

Forbesdale Stage 2 Exploration Program

The Forbesdale Stage 2 Exploration Program was undertaken immediately north of the 2010 Exploration Program area. The exploration program, involving 2,307 metres drilling over 24 holes and geophysical logging, was completed in September 2011 and undertaken in satisfaction of GRL’s obligations to explore the granted tenement areas, albeit  the focus of mine planning, feasibility and detailed environmental assessments was centred on the 2010 Exploration Program area.

Forbesdale Exploration Area

FIGURE - Forbesdale Stage 2 Approval Area (click to enlarge)

The Forbesdale Stage 2 exploration Program was approved in April 2011. Not all approved exploration activities were undertaken.

EL6523, EL6524 & EL6563

In May 2018, GRL undertook a surface mapping program in two areas, one straddling EL 6523 and EL6563 in the vicinity of Gloucester Tops Road, approximately 7km southwest of Gloucester, and the other, straddling ELs 6524 and 6563 in the area north of Spring Creek and Berrico Roads, approximately 15 km south southwest of Gloucester.

The program was undertaken to complement prior surface mapping undertaken in the ELs on the western side of the Gloucester Basin and assist the interpretation of previous drilling programs, the validation of regional mapping and GRL’s geological model, and in the planning for future exploration activities.

In August 2018, GRL commissioned an assessment of the suitability of geophysical methods for the identification of known strata within the Basin as a tool to assist in the design of future exploration activities. The assessment methods were initially trialled in an area adjacent to Woods Road and the outcomes correlated with prior drilling results. Following the identification of the most suitable geophysical survey method, a similar exercise was undertaken in the Berrico Road area that had been mapped in April.

2018 Exploration Program areas (1)

FIGURE - 2018 Exploration Program Areas - EL6523, 6524 and 6563 (click to enlarge)

EL6524 & EL6563

EL6524 and EL6563 are located on the western side of the Gloucester Basin. Exploration within these ELs to date has been limited to two discrete areas, namely the Woods Road and South West areas. Both areas are in the early stages of resource identification and definition.

Woods Road Area

The Woods Road area, is located in the north-western section of EL6524 and central portion of EL6563, approximately 4km northwest of Craven and 15km to 18km southwest of Gloucester. Initial exploration activities comprised two small scale exploration programs referred to as the Woods Road Exploration Program and the Woods Road SDN area as shown below.

Woods Road Exploration Areas

FIGURE - Woods Road Exploration Areas (click to enlarge)

The Woods Road Exploration Program was approved in January 2011 and the Woods Road SDN area was approved in July 2011. The programs, involving 4552m drilling over 23 open holes and one cored hole, were completed in late 2011.

Woods Road Stage 2 Exploration Program

In early October 2014, Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL) lodged an application with the Division of Resources and Energy (DRE) seeking approval to undertake a further small scale exploration program within a 6km2 area held under Exploration Licences (ELs) 6524 and 6563. The area extends from approximately 1 km north of Berrico Road to Upper Avon Road, approximately 4 km west of Craven as shown on the plan below.

Woods Road Stage 2 - Width:565

FIGURE - Woods Road Stage 2 Exploration Area (click to enlarge)

The application, which was accompanied by a Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and Agricultural Impact Statement (AIS), and assessed by the Environmental Sustainability Unit within the Department of Trade and Investment and the Office of Agricultural Sustainability and Food Security within the Department of Primary Industry, was approved on 4 November. The REF, AIS and approvals and other documents can be accessed via -

Nature and Type of Activity

The program, involving drilling ten open holes and two cored holes, was designed to extend the limited understanding of the potential coal resource derived from earlier programs undertaken in 2010 and 2011 in the area, and also obtain some general coal quality information. The program, which commenced on 18 November, was completed in mid March 2015.

All holes were sited to avoid the need for any clearing of native vegetation or significant drill site earthworks, and positioned to minimize any potential visual impacts.

Drilling was undertaken using a small capacity, track-mounted rig in order to minimize surface disturbance and employed rotary mud and diamond coring methods which remove the need for a large air compressor and potential associated noise and air quality issues. Drilling hours were 7.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Depending on the locations of the individual drill sites, access was via Woods and/or Upper Avon Roads and then generally along existing internal farm tracks on the relevant property.


Woods Road Stage 3 Exploration Program

In December 2018 GRL lodged an application with the Resources Regulator within the Department of Planning and Environment seeking approval for a small-scale exploration drilling program within ERL6524, approximately 4 km west of Craven and within the north-eastern section of the area explored as part of the Woods Road Stage 2 Program which was completed in early 2015.

The planned program is to comprise four open holes drilled to depths of approximately 350m – 370m and has been planned to extend the understanding of the coal resource derived from earlier programs undertaken in the broader area between Berrico and Upper Avon Roads in the period from 2010 to 2015 and provide a preliminary understanding of underground development potential.

The Activity Approval was received from the Resources Regulator on 30 January 2019, subject to conditions. Further approvals are awaited before the planned activities can commence.

Click here to view the approval.


South West Scout Program

The South West Scout Program was undertaken in February 2012 in the southern areas of EL65254 and EL6563, approximately 3km southwest of Wards River as shown on the plan below. GRL’s activities in this area comprised 893m of drilling over 4 holes, plus geophysical logging, and were for the purpose of regional exploration and to identify potential targets for future more detailed resource evaluation activities.

South West Scout

FIGURE - South West Scout Program area (click to enlarge)

The SDN for the South West Scout Program was approved in February 2012.

South West Stage 2 Program

In July 2014, GRL lodged an application with DRE to undertake a small scale exploration program within the area held under Exploration Licences (ELs) 6524 and 6563. In accordance with the conditions of the ELs and the relevant guidelines, the application was accompanied by information to enable the DRE to undertake the requisite assessment under Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979. 

Relevant information on the exploration program is presented below.

Location, Nature and Type of Activity

The program comprised 602m drilling over 1 open hole and 6 cored holes (including 3 redrills) within Lot 100 DP1083871, Parish of Grant, Great Lakes Shire, approximately 2km south-west of the village of Wards River (see Figure) and near the open holes drilled during the 2012 program as part of the South West Scout Program. Following drilling, each borehole was geophysical logged, the casing cut off to below the surface, the borehole cement grouted and the affected area and any access tracks rehabilitated as per the DRE Guidelines. The purpose of this program was to gain a better understanding of the coal resource in the area and determine coal quality.

South West Stage 2 Area

FIGURE South West Stage 2 Area (click to enlarge)

Throughout the program, the previously developed, externally-audited management systems for activities within GRL’s Exploration Licences were adopted as the minimum benchmark for performance standards on site.

The exploration activities commenced in the latter part of September 2014 and were completed on 12 November 2014. The photograph below shows the initial drill site one week after completion of all activities.


Further Information or Questions

If there are any questions regarding the exploration activities, please complete the Contact form and we will respond to your enquiry.

For more information on matters relating to coal exploration in NSW please click here: