No field exploration activities are currently in progress.


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

EL 6523

EL6523 lies to the south of Gloucester, extending from the Mograni Range in the east to near the Gloucester Bucketts Range in the west. On its western margin, EL6523 abuts GRL’s EL6563. Click here for Tenement Locational details.

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 and that component of the approved Forbesdale Stage 2 Exploration Program area north of Jacks and Waukivory Roads no longer lies within EL6523.

EL6524 & EL6563

EL6524 and EL6563 are located on the western side of the Gloucester Basin. Exploration drilling within these ELs to date has been limited to two discrete areas, namely the Woods Road and South West areas. Both areas are still 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, the first referred to as the Woods Road Exploration Program, and the second, an extension of that program within 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 extension into 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 extended from approximately 1km north of Berrico Road to Upper Avon Road, approximately 4km west of Craven (see Figure below) and included activities in some of the area previously examined as part of the 2011 programs.

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) was approved on 4 November. 

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 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 (Amended) Exploration Program

In December 2018, GRL submitted an application to the then Department of Planning and Environment’s Environmental Sustainability Unit seeking approval for a four 370m deep open borehole exploration program in the EL6524 component of the Woods Road Exploration Area to assess underground development potential.

Though the planned activities, referred to as the Woods Road Stage 3 Exploration Program, were approved in late January 2019, an independent review and assessment of GRL’s understanding of the geology of the Woods Road area, undertaken while pending the receipt of additional requisite approvals for the Woods Road Stage 3 Program, determined that further drilling was required in the Woods Road Area to quantify the open cut resource and mine development potential prior to any consideration of any possible underground development.

As a consequence, the planned and previously approved Stage 3 Exploration Program was set aside and, on 10 October 2019, GRL submitted an application to the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Resources Regulator for a six shallow (approx. 60m) borehole exploration program to target the Linden Seam in the same general area as that identified in the Woods Road Stage 3 Program application and within the bounds of the area subject to earlier exploration drilling undertaken GRL. See Figure below. Approval was received in late October and drilling of the three open and three cored holes was completed in December 2019. Click here to view the approval.

As with the Stage 2 Program, all holes were sited to avoid any clearing of native vegetation; no earthworks were required; drilling was undertaken with a small, rubber track-mounted rig and employed rotary mud methods, and hours of activity were restricted to 7.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

Woods Road Stage 3

FIGURE - Woods Road Stage 3 (click to enlarge)


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 undertaken 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 a further application with DRE to undertake a small scale exploration program within the southern areas of 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. 

The program comprised 602m drilling over 1 open hole and 6 cored holes (including 3 redrills), approximately 2km south-west of the village of Wards River (see Figure below) and near the open holes drilled during 2012 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)

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.



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. A further mapping program was undertaken in the Gloucester Tops and Faulkland Road areas in November 2019.

The programs were 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 also 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.

Geological mapping and DGPR are forms of exploration which are considered to have minimal environmental impact and are classified as exempt Development under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Mining, Petroleum and Extractive Industries) 2007. Subject to compliance with locational restrictions, these activities can be undertaken without further assessment or approval.

Plan B

FIGURE - 2018/2019 Surface Mapping and DGPR - EL6523, 6524 and 6563 (click to enlarge)

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: