Technical Resource Assessment: Newborough
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 an extensive 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.
Figure 1: Coal Resource East of Newborough
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The drilling program
The first stage of the drilling program has been undertaken in the Latrobe Valley, west of the Yallourn mine and east of the township of Newborough. This area was the first area to be assessed and 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 on the western side of the Yallourn Mine. 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 on the diagram below.
Figure 2: Potential Extent of Future Mining
Figure 3: New ESO Area
Figure 4: Released ESO
What CCV found
The Newborough drilling and coal resource investigation confirmed a very large coal resource to the east of the Yallourn mine but very little on the western side.
These results led to a recommendation to change the current buffer zone between the Yallourn mine and Newborough. This buffer – otherwise known as an Environmental Significance Overlay (ESO) protects the coal resource as well as any urban development by keeping around a 1 km distance between the mine crest and the town boundary.
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 ESO. Based upon the data obtained an alteration of the ESO boundary in this area was recommended. This has created the opportunity to free up land for other uses, while protecting the valuable coal resource for future use. The diagrams above show the location of the existing Yallourn Mine, the position of the existing ESO and the position of the proposed ESO
The plan above sets out the location of the current Yallourn mine, the potential extension of that mine, the TruEnergy mining licence and the current ESO boundary. It can be seen that there is a large gap between the crest of the existing mine and the mining licence boundary.
Where to from here?
The recommendation to alter the position of the ESO is the first step in allowing alternate land uses for this area. This work will be undertaken by Latrobe City Council in conjunction with the Department of Planning and Community Development.
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