Most of Australia's landscape is covered in a blanket of weathered rock, sediments and igneous rocks, effectively 'hiding' the surface where mineral deposits lie. This issue examines the concerted effort to unlock Australia's hidden mineral potential through the development of new exploration tools and research that allow us to see through the 'cover' and go deeper.
Leaders comment from JONATHAN LAW, Director of Mineral Resources: A big new mineral discovery can, and does, transform ordinary companies into global giants. But in recent decades, as many exploration districts mature, it does feel like incremental discoveries in existing districts are the order of the day – albeit with a few notable exceptions.
A combination of geophysical techniques, data and sensing is taking the uncertainty out of minerals exploration, allowing companies to focus their efforts on where it counts early on and hit targets with greater precision.
Researchers from CSIRO's mineral resources business and digital innovation company Data61 – the largest data innovation group in Australia – have been looking at ways of sifting through and adding value to the vast amount of data gathered and held by Australian and state-based government geoscience agencies.
Five years after UNCOVER was first mooted by the Australian Academy of Sciences, the concept – which some call the biggest initiative in geoscience for the past 100 years – is throwing up as many questions as it answers.
Managing Director of Encounter Resources, WILL ROBINSON, talks about the landscape for junior explorers and what it’s going to take to secure the future of mining in Australia.
Thanks to an analytical system that brings the laboratory to the drill site, greenfield explorers can now make multi-million dollar decisions in minutes rather than months.
Head of CSIRO’s exploration research, DR ROB HOUGH, writes about why research into Western Australia’s largely unexplored and deeply covered Capricorn region holds much promise for future prospectivity.
Challenging times are opening up exciting opportunities for smaller mining and exploration companies; and, those who are prepared to think and do differently will reap the greatest rewards.
A new partnership between CSIRO and the Northern Territory Geological Survey is building a better picture of prospectivity in unexplored areas of the McArthur Basin.
A new program has sped-up the process of taking a unique and promising new sensor technology to market. DAVID SIMPSON writes about CSIRO’s new accelerator program.
Following the clues of mineral signatures could allow explorers to cast their nets wider and trigger a new era of discoveries under cover.