Coal potential and exploration in Sarawak

Author : Chen, S.P.
Publication : Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia
Page : 649-665
Volume Number : 20
Year : 1987

Bulletin of the Geological Society of Malaysia, Volume 20, August 1986, pp. 649 – 665


Coal potential and exploration in Sarawak


Geological Survey Malaysia, Kuching


Abstract: The most important coal deposits in Malaysia are found in the State of Sarawak. The more important coal deposits and their potentials are described and a summary of past and current coal exploration activities is given.

Systematic geological mapping carried out by the Geological Survey in the past decades have outlined various deposits that are known to be of economic importance. The major deposits are located in Silantek, Merit-Pila, Mukah-Balingian and the Bintulu areas.

The Silantek deposit is formed in the Eocene in part of the large Tertiary Ketungau Basin which straddles the Silantek area in Sarawak and the Ketungau valleys in Kalimantan. The Merit-Pila and Mukah-Balingian deposits are associated with Miocene-Pliocene sediments. The Bintulu coal deposits on the other hand are formed contemporaneous with regional sedimentation at Miocene times. No coal deposits of economic significance are known in sedimentary formations older than the Tertiary.

The quality of Sarawak coal is variable, ranging from low grade lignite to bituminous coal. In places where the coal is affected by thermal effects, anthracite and bituminous coal with coking properties may be found.

The coal exploration activities in Sarawak from 1881 to 1985 are summarized.