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A Review of the Coal and Iignite Resources of Western Australia


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Author Kristensen SE and Wilson AC


Permian coal from Western Australia’s only producing coalfield at Collie is the dominant fuel used in generating electricity for the State’s interconnected grid. Collie coal is sub-bituminous, non-coking and has a low ash, medium volatiles and high moisture content. The seams were laid down in a fluvial basin which extended beyond the Collie Basin and included the Wilga and Boyup Brook Basins at least. Adjacent parts of the southwest Yilgarn Block are prospective for Collie-type basins. In the past few years significant deposits have been delineated within the Perth Basin, specifically on the Vasse Shelf and in the Hill River area. In the former area high quality steaming coals are correlated with the lowest coal bearing member at Collie. The seams are amenable to underground mining and because of their high quality, the coal may have export potential. Sub-bituminous coal deposits of Jurassic age are present in the Hill River area. Exploration has down-graded the prospectivity of the Carnarvon and Canning Basins for sub-bituminous near-surface coal deposits. Tertiary lignite deposits are present in palaeo-drainage systems in the southern part of the State and their potential for development is being evaluated.