Geology of NSW

The geological history of New South Wales (NSW) is very complex and spans almost two billion years.

NSW minerals, coal and petroleum

New South Wales has abundant mineral and coal resources, including world-class deposits of gold, copper, lead, silver, zinc and mineral sands.

Maps and other products

Hard copy geological maps are available at several scales.

There is almost complete coverage of the state at 1:250 000 and there are several statewide maps.

Most of the mineral deposit maps are 1:250 000 metallogenic maps.

Other maps are the 1:50 000 metallogenic maps of the Broken Hill and New England areas, and the 1:500 000 metallogenic map of Sydney.

Statewide and regional geophysical maps resulting from airborne surveys can be purchased.

Heritage maps and documents

Over 500 heritage geological maps have been catalogued, conserved, scanned and archived.

There is also a unique collection of over 800 geologically notated parish maps.

Memoirs, images, mine records and plans, even newspaper cuttings going back to 1851, are among the many documents archived in the DIGS® database.

They can be accessed and downloaded online.


An authoritative range of publications can help you learn more about mining and minerals in NSW, including books, newsletters, fact sheets, brochures and scientific papers.

Maps for mobile devices

Download free geology maps to your smart phone or tablet.

More than 245 geological maps are available.

The maps are stored to your mobile device so that you know what the geology is under your feet wherever you are in NSW.

Reference collections

Mineral, rock and fossil specimens are collected in the field and from mines for analysis and research to help with mapping and mineral system studies.

So far 24,000 mineral specimens and 45,000 fossils are housed at the W B Clarke Geoscience Centre, Londonderry.

Geoscience activities

Our geoscientists use state-of-the-art methods and systems to collect, synthesise and store accurate information about the geology, mineral, coal and petroleum resources of NSW.

This information is available to the exploration and mining industries, government and the community.

The Department's geoscience activities are managed by the Geological Survey of NSW.

Some of the main functions of the Geological Survey are:

For further information
Geoscience Information
+61 (0)2 4063 6718
Geoscience Information, Geological Survey of New South Wales, PO Box 344, Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310
516 High Street Maitland NSW 2320 Map