Exploration the key to minerals and energy resources future

19 September 2012

A group of industry leaders and decision makers has been told that Australia is being presented with its greatest opportunity for minerals and energy resource discoveries for more than 50 years.

Speaking at the Australian National Conference on Resources and Energy, Geoscience Australia CEO, Dr Chris Pigram, said that acquisition and analysis of sophisticated geophysical and other scientific data to define the tectonic history of the continent and produce 3D models of the landscape and what lies beneath it will provide exploration companies with an unprecedented suite of pre-competitive data.

“These data, coupled with advances in exploration technology and changes in mining techniques, provide the tools to investigate under-explored and unexplored regions of the continent and at depths previously considered impossible.

“Interpretation of seismic and magnetic data indicates that known mineralised region extend further than previously thought under the surface cover, raising the potential for significant new resource discoveries beyond visible outcrops and around the fringes of existing deposits,” Dr Pigram said.

“This pre-competitive information plays an important role in encouraging successful exploration, both on-shore and off-shore by significantly reducing the risk associated with selecting which areas to explore.

“Although Australia has abundant gas resources which support the domestic and export market, oil resources are declining. However, there is potential for new discoveries as exploration moves into the vast frontier areas around the continental shelf,” Dr Pigram said.

“There is potential also for shale gas and oil in numerous onshore basins identified in the mainland states,” he said.

“Australia’s continuing economic and social benefits resulting from its mineral and energy resource wealth is mostly the result of discoveries made decades ago and it is important to recognise that major discoveries have a long lead time to bring into production, commonly over a decade.

“Although the resources being mined currently are available to continue to support the country’s economy, new discoveries need to be made to replenish resources and ensure continuing supply and production into the future,” Dr Pigram said.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact: Geoscience Australia 24 hour Media Hotline 1800 882 035.

Topic contact: media@ga.gov.au Last updated: September 18, 2012