New airborne electromagnetic data from the Exploring for the Future program will provide an unprecedented snapshot of the geology of south-eastern Australia.
Geoscience Australia recently undertook a large airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey throughout parts of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia as part of the $225 million Exploring for the Future program.
Chief of the Minerals, Energy and Groundwater division at Geoscience Australia, Dr Andrew Heap, said the survey was conducted across more than 600,000 square kilometres of south-eastern Australia – an area almost the size of France – to identify potential new minerals, groundwater and energy resources.
“During this survey, we concentrated on an area spanning from Peterborough in South Australia to Wilcannia in New South Wales, and from Tibooburra in New South Wales to Warrnambool in Victoria,” Dr Heap shared.
“This region – which is part of the Eastern Resources Corridor we identified last year – contains important crustal boundaries including those between the Curnamona Province, the Delamerian Orogen and the Lachlan Fold Belt.”
“This area once hosted ancient mountains and volcanoes formed during a period of intense mountain-building about 490 to 514 million years ago.”
While these mountains and volcanoes have eroded with time, Dr Heap said periods of intense mountain-building were key to the creation of mineral deposits.
“Because of this, we think this region has potential to host a wide range of mineral deposits including copper, gold, lead and zinc, as well as critical minerals,” he said.
“The Curnamona Province has been one of Australia’s premier mineral production regions for nearly 140 years and hosts the world-class Broken Hill lead-zinc-silver-gold deposit.”
“The region could also host natural hydrogen gas seeps – created by chemical reactions between water and sulphide-bearing rocks – which could assist Australia’s transition to a lower-emissions energy future.”
Minister for Resources and Water, the Hon. Keith Pitt MP, said the Exploring for the Future program is putting rich and valuable data in the hands of industry to help them plan their future exploration programs and make investment decisions.
“The program is collecting geological data across southern Australia to uncover exciting new mineral deposits to supply Australia’s future critical mineral resources needs, as well as find new sources of groundwater to support agricultural and pastoral communities,” Minister Pitt said.
“AEM surveys have played a critical role in building a picture of the resource potential of northern Australia.”
“Three years ago, the East Tennant to Mt Isa region was open ground. Today there are more than 30 companies investigating the area, with over 160,000 square kilometres of new tenements staked out,” he said.
“The delivery of these datasets is a key step on the road to creating long-term jobs in our resources industry.”
Discover the AusAEM data now through the Exploring for the Future Data Discovery Portal: https://portal.ga.gov.au/persona/eftf