Recent reduction or modification of geological education in tertiary institutes around Australia have taken a significant toll on coal geological education, particularly in NSW.

Coal mining is a multibillion-dollar industry and is experiencing a shortage of adequately qualified geology graduates to welcome into their technical services and exploration functions.

The Coalfield Geology Council of NSW (CGC) has been discussing these changes over the last 18 months and the group has formed a sub-committee tasked to develop a pathway forward in bridging the gap in the teaching of coal geology to both undergraduates and existing professionals in this field. This will take the form of a short course that includes content communicating technical knowledge and skills, covering coal specific topics such as coal petrography, coal logging and identification, coal quality and modelling basics and coal utilisation.

The course will be taught online by Emeritus Professor Joan Esterle and Dr Judy Bailey and will occur on the 22-23rd November 2021. The course has been sponsored by Glencore and Yancoal as well as the GSA Coal Geology Groups. Xenith’s Cheryl Holz is a member of the sub-committee along with Joan Esterle, Agi Burra and Monica Davis. The sub-committee hopes that this course will address some of the gaps that industry are seeing in recent graduates that have had minimal, if any, exposure to sedimentology and coal. Currently the course has the full support of the GSA and the sub-committee will be looking to expand the range of courses that the CGC NSW can offer with the support of industry and other professional bodies.

Register for the course here.