Geological Terms

Anthracite Coal

Coal of the highest rank being a high carbon content and a low volatile matter. It has a bright black lustre.


A upward(convex) folding of the rock strata.


A bed of rock strata that contains water. The presence of aquifers must be taken into consideration when designing any mine


Stratum of coal or other sedimentary deposits.

Bituminous Coal

A general term descriptive of coal intermediate in rank between sub-bituminous and semi-anthracite and including coking coals. Bituminous coals may be either bright or dull and are usually banded in appearance.

Black Coal

A general term for coal of either sub-bituminous, bituminous or anthracite rank.

Brassy tops

Pyrites – Iron sulphide, a chemical dangerous in mines because of its tendency to ignite spontaneously.

Brown Coal

Coal of the lowest rank, of a soft friable nature and high moisture in the air-dried


Coal measure

Coal measures are a group of seams that are the same age.  


A coal mining area in Australia.  The NSW the districts are Northern Southern and Western.  There is also the Newcastle District 


Break in the continuity of a coal seam or rock strata. There are many types of faults.

Greta-Branxton Coalfield

The northern part of the Greta Coalfield, centred on the towns of Greta and Branxton; developed earlier than the South Maitland Coal Seam

Greta Coalfield

The field including both the South Maitland and Greta-Branxton Coalfields.

In Situ

In the natural or original position with references to rock strata.


A discontinuity in the rock strata where there is no sign of relative movement.


A brownish-black coal composed of vegetable matter which has been altered more than in peat, but less than in sub-bituminous coal.


Coal that appears at or near the surface


A bed of coal laid down between beds of rock

South Maitland Coalfield

The larger part of the Greta coalfield centred on Kurri and Cessnock.

Sub-Bituminous Coal

Coal of a rank between lignite and bituminous.

Volatile Matter

The part of coal that gives it its ability to burn as they contain mostly hydrocarbons


Metcalfe, Andrew, W., For freedom and Dignity: historical agency and class structures in the Coalfields of NSW, Allen & Auwin Sydney 1988.

Tonks, Ed. Coal mining in the Hunter Valley, 1979.

University of Wollongong. Mine Glossary. From . Retrieved on 14/03/2013.

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