Coal Quality and Utilisation

Coal mine quality management and marketing

The NSW Institute for Frontier Geoscience professional development course in Coal Quality and Utilisation is designed to introduce principles of coal formation, sampling, analysis and utilisation as a basis for coal mine quality management and marketing. The course will be run by experts in their field chosen by the Coalfields Geology Council of NSW, and will include academics, consultants, Government and Industry geologists.

Course Structure

  • Coal Formation and Petrography
  • Sampling for Analytical Purposes
  • Designing a Coal Analysis Program
  • Coal Analytical Techniques and Testing
  • Interpretation of Analytical Results
  • Geological Factors affecting Coal Sampling and Analysis Results
  • Coal Preparation
  • Utilisation of Thermal and Coking Coal
  • Lab Visit

Course Duration

The postgraduate training course consists of at least 40 contact hours as part of the 5-day intensive, and will include an assessable practicals designed to demonstrate the capacity to generate and interpret geological data relevant to the course objectives.

Course Venue

Room G101, Level 1, Geology Building, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus
View the Callaghan campus interactive map


Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea is provided each day. If you have any specific dietary requirements please contact Nicole Weaver

Course Cost

Full course cost is $3,500 AUD (GST inc)

Receive Early Bird discount of $500

Early bird discounts must be paid one month before the start date of the course, otherwise full fees apply.

Delegation Discount is also available

If you register 3 or more delegates from your organisation, receive a 50% discount on the 3rd delegate's registration fee.

* The Early Bird discount and the Delegation discount cannot be taken in conjunction with one another.

Who should complete this course

From an Industry perspective, there is a strong need for early to mid-career employees to improve and/or broaden their skill base, to become effective and efficient members of the working team. A postgraduate training program will provide a comprehensive range of professional geological and geotechnical based skills, which have the potential to substantially improve productivity. Not only will these skills assist everyday decision making, but will facilitate better utilisation of consultants and consultancy reports. The courses will give early to mid-career geoscientists much greater competence, ability and confidence to operate in the workplace.

Entry requirement is a BSc degree or three (3) years experience as a Coal Geologist in the Industry.


The 5-day intensive will include assessable practical tasks designed to demonstrate the capacity to generate and interpret geological data relevant to the course objectives. The course will also involve participant interaction, facilitated by a short pre-course research task, and in-course discussion.

What certification will I receive?

A Certificate of Attainment will be awarded for successful completion and a mark and grading will be recorded for the course.


The course may be transferred to a relevant postgraduate or Masters Program in the Faculty of Science and Information Technology. Please contact GradSchool for further advice.

About the Course Convenor

Prof. Colin Ward has BSc and PhD degrees from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and almost 40 years academic, research and consultancy experience in coal geology and related fields. He served for eight years as Head of the Geology Department at the University of New South Wales and complemented his research activities with periods at CSIRO and the University of Sheffield. He formally retired as Professor of Geology in 2006, but continues teaching and research as a Professorial Visiting Fellow at UNSW and also as a Visiting Scientist with CSIRO Energy Technology.

Prof. Ward’s research has focused mainly on the characterisation and behaviour of mineral matter in coal, including the mineralogy and environmental impacts of ash derived from coal combustion and gasification processes. Other activities include collaborative research on coal macerals using electron microprobe and micro-FTIR techniques, investigations of methane ignition from rock friction in underground coal mines, and presentation of coal geology courses for international exploration and mining companies.

Colin has been author or editor of several books on coal geology, and produced over 90 refereed journal articles and 80 full-length conference papers. He has been a member of the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Coal Geology since 1990, and was Chairman of the Coal Geology Group of the Geological Society of Australia from 1979 to 1981. He served as President of The Society for Organic Petrology (TSOP) from 2004 to 2005, and is currently Chair of the TSOP Research Committee.

Professional Affiliations

  • Fellow, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and
  • Chartered Professional (Geology) – FAusIMM(CP);
  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Geoscientists - FAIG;
  • Fellow, Geological Society of America;
  • Member, Geological Society of Australia;
  • Member, Royal Society of New South Wales;
  • Member, The Society for Organic Petrology;
  • Member, International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology.
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