South Australia’s Government will be the first globally to host a $250,000 crowdsourced open data competition to fast-track the discovery of mineral deposits.
ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge partners with open innovation platform, Unearthed, in a world-wide call for geologists and data scientists to uncover new exploration targets in the state’s Gawler Craton region.
Using the Geological Survey of South Australia’s historical records, primary data and research, the competition combines geological expertise with new mathematical, machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase the number of potential drill targets across central South Australia.
South Australia’s Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said the state-of-the-art competition has the potential to unearth the next Olympic Dam or Carrapateena by encouraging global thinkers and innovators to interrogate their open-file data and generate new exploration models and ideas for targeting.
“Mining is one of the pillars of the South Australian economy and this competition should add to the pipeline of projects in the resources and minerals processing sector,” he said.
“Our existing inventory of discoveries suggest there are major prospects and many other deposit styles and commodities to be identified and this will only serve to bring those internationally significant discoveries forward.”
“ExploreSA is an example of the bold and progressive thinking required to assist Industry in accelerating the state’s annual economic growth rate to three per cent.”
The Grawler Craton region in central South Australia is recognised as one of the country’s leading exploration destinations.
The Gawler Craton Airborne Survey captured approximately 1,800,000 line kilometres of data over an area of about 324,000 square kilometres – the size of Norway – and is the largest survey of its kind to be done in Australia.
Exploration on the Gawler Craton is complex, however, as a significant portion of the craton is obscured by significant layers of regolith, basin sediments and volcanic material, which can reach over 1 kilometre thick in places.
All targets generated, including those from the winners of the $250,000 prize pool, will be publicly shared to increase innovation and understanding in the resources sector by enabling access to data science approaches and modern geoscience thinking.
Unearthed Industry Lead – Crowdsourcing, Holly Bridgwater, said the competition served to leverage data science to its full potential at a time when significant new discoveries are becoming rarer.
“This exciting crowdsourcing competition and world-class open dataset will attract a global community of innovators, some whom won’t have worked in the mining industry before,” Ms Bridgwater said.
“We can’t wait to see how they will apply their diverse skills, fresh ideas and novel approaches to mineral exploration to accelerate discovery in South Australia.”
Crowdsourced competitions are a fresh, leading method to test new ideas and find solutions, which can also result in start-up companies, new jobs and opportunities.
ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge is planned to open in March 2020.