Review of the Australian Guidelines for the Estimation and Classification of Coal Resources

Information regarding the review of the Australian Guidelines for the Estimation and Classification of Coal Resources (coal guidelines) has been previously posted on this forum and the AIG web site. A consultation draft is available for public comment until 7 May.

Are the continued use of the guidelines either necessary or beneficial?

The coal guidelines, arguably, have been made redundant by improvements in the transparency and materiality of public statements of exploration results, resources and reserves in JORC 2012 which provides a uniform basis for disclosure of relevant information for all commodities.

Its difficult to see any aspect of coal exploration result, resource or reserves reporting that requires the imposition of commodity specific provisions.

There are no comparable, specific provisions contemplated for other commodities.

Australian companies, investors and resource and reserve practitioners would benefit from a single, comprehensive standard for exploration result, resource and reserve reporting that JORC 2012 provides.

The proposition that the guidelines are required to establish a definition for Inventory Coal difficult to justify as being either critical or beneficial.  Inventory coal cannot be reported publicly. It is estimated for internal company purposes (where companies will have suitable internal classification and reporting standards) and for non-public reporting to governments where the individual authorities involved should set required standards.

The recommended maximum spacings for points of observation applicable to different resource and reserve categories specified in the guidelines are arbitrary, have been historically misused as standards for resource classification and conflict with the role and responsibilities of Competent Persons to both make and fully justify their decisions in this regard.

The 2012 JORC Code, overall, provides a much improved basis for public reporting that is equally applicable to all commodities and, consequently, provides a consistent standard that Australian industry should embrace.

What’s your view?  You can add a comment here or via the AIG Linkedin Group.  AIG will be making a submission to the review of the guidelines incorporating feedback received from members.

Andrew Waltho

Use of Incidental Coal Seam Gas

The Queensland Government has released an industry White Paper to consult on proposed legislation covering the incidental use of coal seam gas associated with coal mining.

Industry has identified that the current restrictions on the use of incidental coal seam gas (ICSG) prevent more efficient use of this valuable resource. The use of ICSG by the holder of a coal mining lease has also been addressed by the industry White Paper. This is to provide for the use of ICSG by the holder of a coal mining lease where it overlaps a petroleum lease, subject to the mining lease holder satisfying the certain requirements under the new coal and CSG overlapping tenure framework.

Currently, section 318CN of the MRA limits the use of ICSG mined within the area of a mining lease for:

  • beneficial use for mining within the area of that mining lease;
  • transporting or storing within the area of that mining lease to allow it to be used beneficially; or;
  • giving it to an overlapping petroleum lease holder.

Under current section 318CO, where ICSG cannot be used beneficially and there is no overlapping petroleum lease (or the holder of an overlapping petroleum authority has rejected the gas), it may be flared or vented (subject to conditions).

The draft legislation proposes new uses of ICSG by the holder of a coal mining lease, not only when the new coal and CSG overlapping scheme has been satisfied, but also when there is not an overlapping petroleum authority. While in many cases, there is likely to be an overlapping petroleum authority, it is timely to consider both situations in light of the changes proposed under the White Paper.

The proposed changes also support the implementation of the ICSG principles of the White Paper in that ICSG may be commercialised by a mining lease holder after the requirements of the overlapping scheme for coal and CSG have been met.

Therefore, the following uses of ICSG by a coal miner are proposed (after first satisfying the overlapping scheme if required):

  • ICSG may be used beneficially within the area of the mining lease or on other mining operations held by the same holder. This may include uses such as power generation for equipment used for any mining or heating.
  • Transport ICSG from one or more mining leases across lease boundaries (including where leases are not contiguous). Any approvals under other applicable legislation would be first required e.g. pipeline licence under the P&G Act.
  • Store ICSG within the area of a mining lease or in the area of another mining operation to allow it to be used for any of the above purposes.
  • Commercialise ICSG by selling it to another party, as would be possible by a petroleum lease holder. This may include the sale of the gas to other mining or petroleum operations where it may be used beneficially.
  • ICSG may be transported to a central power generation facility. The electricity generated may be used beneficially or commercialised. Use or sale of electricity generated is only allowable if any necessary approvals are obtained under other applicable legislation e.g. Electricity Act 1994.
  • Flare or vent the gas if it is not commercially or technically feasible to use the ICSG beneficially or commercially.

It is not intended for the changes to directly authorise storage or transportation of ICSG on other resource authorities without any necessary approvals, unless that authority already expressly authorises the activity (e.g. another mining lease). For example, it is not intended that a holder of an exploration permit for coal could construct a pipeline to transport ICSG without necessary approvals under the P&G Act.

Allowing a coal miner to commercialise ICSG or use it beneficially within projects (after satisfying the coal and CSG overlapping scheme requirements if required) provides an opportunity for this genuine resource to be used rather than being flared or vented. The benefits of this proposal include the following:

  • protects economic benefits to the State and regional communities by supporting the viability of existing coal mines to reduce costs by finding more efficient uses of ICSG.
  • encourages future investment in the State by providing an environment for industry to develop lower cost coal production
  • provides environmental benefits through encouragement of greenhouse gas abatement schemes and the use of less greenhouse gas intensive power generation (using ICSG rather than sourcing electricity from coal fired power generation).

Please note that the proposals outlined in this article are a work in progress by the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines and have been released for consultation purposes.  Interested members should contact the Department to discuss the proposals or seek further information.


Coal Guidelines Review

An exposure draft of the Australian Guidelines for the Estimation and Classification of Coal Resources has been released for public comment.  The guidelines have been produced by a volunteer committee of industry representatives as a revision to the 2003 edition of the guidelines that were originally published by the Coalfield Geology Council of New South Wales and the Queensland Resources Council.

The exposure draft is available here.

Public comments are now invited.  To submit a comment click here.  Comments close COB Wednesday 7 May.

If you work with Coal Resources, you are encouraged to take a look at the exposure draft.

AIG will be preparing a response to the review.  AIG members are invited to provide any comments on the proposed guidelines to Andrew Waltho who will coordinate the AIG response and will provide feedback to members contributing to the response’s development.  You can also join a discussion of the guidelines on AIG’s Linkedin group.

Andrew Waltho
8 April 2014

Australian Institute of Geoscientists Privacy Policy

Prepared 12 September, 2018 
Approved by Council 3 October 2018

The Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) ABN 22 002 266 659 recognises the importance of privacy protection and takes all practicable measures to ensure the privacy of any Personal Information provided to it for the conduct of AIG activities.

AIG treats personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (Privacy Act).  This Privacy Policy explains how we handle Personal Information relating to individuals, to meet the requirements of the Privacy Act.

1.  Definitions

In this Privacy Policy the expression “we“, “us” and “our” are a reference to AIG.  The expressions “you” and “your” refer to each individual whose Personal Information we may handle from time to time where we are required to comply with the Privacy Act in respect of such Personal Information.

Personal Information means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable:

  • whether the information or opinion is true or not; and
  • whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.

Privacy Policy means this document as amended from time to time.

Sensitive Information means information or an opinion about an individual’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, membership of a political association, religious beliefs or affiliations, philosophical beliefs, membership of a professional or trade association, membership of a trade union, sexual orientation or practices or criminal record that is also personal information, health information, genetic information, biometric information or biometric templates.

Spam Act means the Spam Act 2003 (Cth). 

2.  What Information Do We Collect?

We only collect Personal Information to the extent that it is reasonably necessary for one or more of our functions or activities, which are generally described in this Privacy Policy.

The personal information we collect from you includes:

  • your name and contact details, such as your address, telephone number(s), email address(es);
  • country and state of residence;
  • AIG membership status;
  • information required to process your membership application or other orders;
  • where provided to us, your academic qualifications or employment details; and 
  • where provided to us, information required to facilitate payment of membership subscriptions, donations, conference and seminar registrations and purchases of AIG publications.

All payments made using online facilities provided by AIG are processed using a secure, external website provided by AIG’s bank.  AIG itself does not handle, collect, or store any of the financial or credit card details of anyone making payments through the website and takes no responsibility for the security of that information.

3.  How Do We Collect Your Personal Information?

Our preference is to collect your Personal Information directly from you, unless it is unreasonable or impractical to do so. 

Information will generally be collected from the following sources:

  • the membership application you fill in to join AIG;
  • any subsequent information you provide to keep your information current after joining AIG;
  • contributions to AIG surveys;
  • subscription to AIG online and email newsletters, including our “AIGeoscope” online newspaper; and
  • any information you provide to us at AIG related events, locations and functions.

4.  Why Do We Need Your Personal Information?

AIG may use and disclose your Personal Information for the primary purpose for which we collected it, such as:

  • to provide you with our products, services or business activities;
  • to assess your eligibility for membership; 
  • to verify your identity and membership status; 
  • to maintain contact with you on matters relevant to your membership of AIG; 
  • to provide you with information regarding AIG activities and business, events, products or services we offer; and
  • to facilitate online payment of membership dues, event registrations, publications and other products or services.

    We may also use and disclose your Personal Information for other purposes permitted or required by law, including reasonably related (or directly related, for Sensitive Information) secondary purposes that are within your reasonable expectations.

    If you do not provide us with the Personal Information, or you withdraw your consent for AIG to collect, use and disclose your personal information, we may be unable to provide our services to you.

    5.  Communication From Us

    We do not use Sensitive Information for marketing purposes. 

    We may use and disclose your Personal Information (other than Sensitive Information) to provide you with information on:

    • special offers, products and services offered by AIG; and
    • upcoming events and functions by AIG,

    where you have consented to us doing so.  All electronic messages will identify AIG.

    If at any time you no longer wish to receive direct marketing from us or do not want your information disclosed for direct marketing, you may unsubscribe using the link in each email message, using the newsletter subscription link on the AIG website home page, or by contacting us using the details below.

    Please note that even if you have requested not to receive further direct marketing communications, we may nevertheless continue to provide you with information about changes to our terms and conditions for the supply of our services or activities, and other factual information as permitted under the Privacy Act and Spam Act.

    6.  Will We Give Your Personal Information to Anyone Else?

    We will not sell, trade or transfer any of the Personal Information we collect to third parties, unless permitted or required to under the Privacy Act. 

    We may disclose Personal Information to third parties in the following circumstances:

    • where we need to provide your Personal Information for a specific legal purpose to our representatives, such as accountants, auditors or lawyers; or
    • where that third party is a contractor engaged to provide goods or services to us.  We strive to limit the information we give contractors to what they need to perform their services for us or provide products or services to you.

    Please note that AIG member’s names, membership grade, membership number and state of residence may be made publicly available through the AIG website for the sole purpose of confirming AIG membership.

    7.  How Do We Protect Personal Information?

    The security of your personal details on the AIG website will depend on both your actions and ours.  When you use the website, we require you to take specific measures to protect against unauthorised access, such as:

    • establishing a password for your personal profile;
    •  ensuring access codes given to you are secure;
    • trying to memorise your access codes; 
    • not telling anyone of your access codes; 
    • not keeping your computer and undisguised access codes together;
    • immediately telling us if you suspect the security of your access code(s) have been breached; and
    • immediately changing your access codes if any breach is suspected.

    8.  Where is Your Information Stored?

    We (and our subcontractors) may hold electronic records of your Personal Information using cloud technology or other electronic means, or in paper form.  These means of holding Personal Information may include offshore storage. 

    It is not practicable for us to specify in advance the location of every service provider with whom we deal and their locations.  However, typically AIG’s website and membership database is stored in Australia.  Email contact information used for the distribution of newsletters and information collected by AIG surveys is stored in the United States of America.  Information collected for our “AIGeoscope” web newspaper is stored in Switzerland.

    9.  Access, Correction and Further Information

    We will provide you with access to your Personal Information held by us unless we are permitted under the Privacy Act to refuse to provide you with such access.  Please contact us via the details below if you:

    • wish to have access to the Personal Information which we hold about you;
    • consider that the Personal Information which we hold about you is not accurate, complete or up to date; or
    • have a complaint or inquiry, or otherwise require further information on our Personal Information handling practices. 

    There is no charge for requesting access to your Personal Information but we may require you to meet our reasonable costs in actually providing you with access.

    We will use reasonable efforts to deal promptly with complaints and inquiries and, in any event, acknowledge your request within 30 days. 

    If you are not satisfied with how we manage your complaint, you may contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at

    10.  Changes to This Privacy Policy

    AIG reserves the right to change or update this Privacy Policy at any time, without prior notice. When we do, the revised Privacy Policy will be posted on the AIG website, The effective date of the revised policy will be recorded in the updated Privacy Policy.

    You may obtain a copy of our current Privacy Policy from our website or by contacting us via the details provided in paragraph 11 (below).

    11. Further Information

    If you would like more information about this Privacy Policy or any other privacy related issue please contact AIG’s Executive Officer, who can be contacted using the following details:

    Ms Lynn Vigar
    AIG Executive Officer
    PO Box 576

    T: +61 2 9431 8662

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