Technical Resource Assessment: Longford
Clean Coal Victoria
In 2009 the State Government established Clean Coal Victoria (CCV) to develop a strategic plan to define the best use of the valuable brown coal resource.
A 3D Geological Model of brown coal deposits in Victoria has been developed previously by Geoscience Victoria and CCV will add data to update that model through a drilling program. Based on the results obtained from the drilling program some changes to existing overlays and zonings may result.
In some circumstances, this could mean changing the use of land that was previously set aside for mining. This occurred recently on a parcel of land near Newborough in the Latrobe Valley.
The drilling program
The second stage of the drilling program has been undertaken in the Wellington Shire south east of the township of Longford.
The assessment of this area will become part of a much larger project which will see the development of a strategic plan for the future use of Latrobe Valley brown coal.
The drilling program involved drilling two strategically located bore holes which provided further infill detail on the brown coal resource within this area. Core samples were analysed and the data gained has been added to previous information to confirm the geology at this location.
The location of these bore holes can be seen in Figure 1, right.
What CCV found
The Longford drilling and coal resource investigation confirmed that while coal is present in this location, it has poor stripping ratios and it is of a volume that is not significant. Within this area exists a raised geological structure, which has been named the ‘Longford Dome’. It is an easterly extension of the Baragwanath Anticline, along which the Coolungoolun and Holey Plains coalfields are located. A diagram of this can be seen below.
The drilling results have led to a recommendation to change the location of the State Resources Overlay (SRO) which is currently in place. This overlay acts to protect the coal resource from future development.
Figure 1: Plan of Longford dome showing boreholes
Figure 2: Crossection through Longford dome
Land use outcomes
This investigation has clarified the extent of the brown coal resource and future mining potential and has allowed the review of the location of the SRO. Based upon the data obtained, removal of the SRO in this area was recommended.
This has created the opportunity to free up land for other uses.
Figure 2, above, shows the positioning of the coal below Longford.
Figure 3 and Figure 4, right, show the location of the existing Longford Township and the SRO which has been recommended for removal.
Where to from here?
The recommendation to alter the position of the SRO is the first step in allowing alternate land uses for this area. This work will be undertaken by Wellington Shire Council in conjunction with the Department of Planning and Community Development.
The infill drilling to define the coal resource will continue across the Gippsland basin.
Figure 3: East of Longford township showing SRO
Figure 4: East of Longford township with SRO removed
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