Whitehaven Coal has applied for a new exploration licence covering about 936 hectares seven kilometres west of Gunnedah.
The Department of Trade and Investment has called for public comment on the application that covers private property, the Oxley Highway/Barlow Lane road reserves, Pyramid Hill and an area north-west of the brickworks area.
A Whitehaven spokesman this week said the area was known to include coal.
“Coal is known to exist in the area from an observed outcrop on Pyramid Hill and waterbore drilling,” the spokesman said.
“This is the first time an exploration permit has been issued over the area.”
Comments on the application will close on December 11.
The Department of Trade and Investment’s website says an exploration program involves conducting research before concentrating on very specific areas of interest.
Until an application is granted and access arrangements have been negotiated with landholders, ground exploration cannot be carried out.
“Initial work may involve a visit by a geologist or technical officer to walk the area and undertake geological mapping of rock outcrops,” the website says.
“If an area of interest is identified during this initial phase, further testing may occur.”
It notes many techniques do not involve significant disturbance of the ground.
“If resources are indicated, the next phase of exploration may involve drilling activities usually using truck mounted drill rigs,” the website says.
“There is generally only a minimal area of disturbance, if any, to allow for the preparation of a safe drill site. All disturbed areas must be fully rehabilitated to strict environmental standards.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.