If we were to talk about ‘rock’ stars of CSIRO, Dr Steve Barnes would be a one of the legends.
An award-winning exploration geologist and expert in magmatic ore deposits, Steve is a Post-Retirement Fellow in ore systems science at CSIRO.
Throughout his career he has published over 200 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and gained 13,000 citations.
The breadth of his research has been truly global. His publications cover ore deposits and their host rocks in Australia, Canada, USA, Finland, China, Russia and Brazil.
It is his research on Australian ore systems that forms the basis for his legacy of geochemical data that has been donated to the Australian research community on AuScope’s AusGeochem open-access geospatial data platform.
An invaluable resource for critical mineral exploration in Western Australia
The collection includes whole rock geochemical and mineral chemistry data collated by Steve while working at CSIRO from the mid-1980s to 2021.
The data set includes over 6,400 samples, primarily from the Archean of Western Australia, focussed on mafic to ultramafic rocks and associated nickel sulfide ores.
Most of the data was collected during research projects related to exploration for magmatic sulfide nickel-copper ore deposits.
This compilation has been used to help recognise the regional footprints of magmatic Ni-Cu-Cu-platinum group deposits and offers a window for continued exploration for critical mineral ores.
Steve believes access to this collection will be a valuable resource for furthering the understanding of the formation and preservation of critical mineral deposits.
“This dataset is the legacy of nearly forty years of research involving a dozen or more scientists collaborating with at least twenty exploration companies searching for nickel in Australia,’ says Steve.
“AusGeochem is providing a great service in making it available to the research and exploration communities. I’m hoping that future generations of scientists will keep using and expanding this dataset to deepen our understanding of the planet and aid in locating the resources we need for the green economy.”
The collection is now fully live and interactive within the AusGeochem platform for users to explore various geochemical analysis and visualisation tools.
The preservation of Steve’s data collections was enabled through funding from the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).
Further information can be found on the AuScope website via Preserving the Steve Barnes (CSIRO) Ni-PGE Geochemistry Collection in AusGeochem.