Minerals Alert May 2004

  1. Nickel sulphide deposits in Australia: resources and potential
  2. Review of Australian mineral exploration 2003
  3. Surface geology of south Queensland (digital data)
  4. Surface geology of Victoria (digital data)
  5. Geophysical data release Belele region Western Australia
  6. Index of new SHRIMP geochronology results
  7. Australian Iron Oxide Cu-Au deposits andGawler Craton inversion modelling
  8. Gawler Craton State of Play 2004 and Seismic Workshop, Adelaide 4-6 August
  9. Interoperability of Geospatial Data delivery for the Australian Minerals Industry
  10. XMML goes live
  11. About "Minerals Alert"

1. Nickel sulphide deposits in Australia: resources and potential

Geoscience Australia's Dean Hoatson delivered a presentation on Australia's nickel sulphide resources and potential at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada's annual convention in Toronto, Canada, in March.

Known deposits are mainly associated with Archaean komatiites and Archaean-Proterozoic mafic intrusions, but some unusual Phanerozoic deposits occur in eastern Australia. About 80% of Australia's Ni production comes from komatiite deposits in the Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia. The Eastern Goldfields Province of this craton hosts one of the greatest concentrations of Archaean komatiite-hosted Ni deposits in the world, several of which are world class. Exploration in Australia is focussed on mafic-ultramafic rocks in Late Archaean and Proterozoic provinces.

There is considerable potential for discoveries associated with komatiites and mafic intrusions, particularly under shallow cover. The presentation Nickel sulphide deposits in Australia - resources and potential is available on Geoscience Australia's web site.

For more information contact Dean Hoatson on +61 (0)2 6249 9593 or by email at Dean.Hoatson@ga.gov.au

2. Review of Australian mineral exploration 2003

Geoscience Australia has released its annual review of mineral exploration in Australia in 2003. It reviews trends in exploration spending, with highlights drawn from exploration results that are reported by industry during the year as well as from current government geoscience activities which support the minerals sector.

For more information contact Mike Huleatt on +61 (0)2 6249 9087 or by email at Mike.Huleatt@ga.gov.au

3. Surface geology of southern Queensland (digital data)

A new digital dataset of southern Queensland has been released as part of a national compilation of the 'Surface Geology of Australia, 1:1 000 000 scale'.

The dataset covers an area from Townsville south and west to adjacent Territory and State borders. It was compiled mainly from regional 1:1 000 000 and 1:500 000 maps, with gaps filled from 1:250 000 and 1:100 000 mapping. Recent mapping by the Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ) in south-east Queensland has been included. Geological units and lines in the dataset are described with standardised attributes including stratigraphic, lithological, and age information. Major deposits/resources within the area of this dataset include: Mount Morgan (Cu-Au), Mt Leyshon & Gympie (Au), Southeast Queensland (mineral sands), Kunwarara (Mg), Cooper and Surat basins (oil and gas) and Bowen Basin (coal).

The new dataset will provide an improved regional context for these and other deposits. The dataset can be downloaded from the Free Downloads page, or ordered on CD in ESRI and Mapinfo formats from the GA Sales Centre.

For more information contact Alan Whitaker on +61 (0)2 6249 9702 or by email at Alan.Whitaker@ga.gov.au

4. Surface geology of Victoria (digital data)

The new digital surface geology of Victorian (1:1 million scale) is an upgrade of the 1999 "Geology of Victoria" map released by the Geological Survey of Victoria.

Improvements include the addition of some new mapping in eastern Victoria, incorporation of Cainozoic geology from the "Geology of Murray Basin" map at 1:1 million scale and rationalisation of units between Victoria and New South Wales. The Victorian dataset is among the first releases of what will become a national compilation of the 'Surface Geology of Australia, 1:1 000 000 scale'. The dataset is being developed in GA to assist in addressing land use issues and to provide context for mineral exploration with consistency across state borders.

The dataset can be downloaded from the Free Downloads page, or ordered on CD in ESRI and Mapinfo formats from the GA Sales Centre.

For more information contact Alan Whitaker on +61 (0)2 6249 9702 or by email at Alan.Whitaker@ga.gov.au

5. Geophysical data release Belele region Western Australia

The Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) and Geoscience Australia (GA) have released approximately 100 000 line kilometres of airborne geophysical data over the Murchison region of Western Australia covering the Belele 1:250 000 Sheet area and parts of some adjoining 1:100 000 Sheet areas. This area has high potential for gold mineralisation but the absence of extensive outcrop over it has previously hindered exploration. Datasets in this release comprise magnetic, radiometric and elevation located data and grids from a survey flown for GSWA and GA in November 2003, and three private company surveys undertaken between 1985 and 1996.

The new datasets have been merged with the company datasets to provide a combined dataset giving a continuous coverage. The resulting magnetic, radiometric and elevation datasets have been gridded using an 80 metre cell size. Acquired in three blocks, the new data were collected at a flying height of 60 metres along lines spaced 400 metres apart. Magnetic data were sampled every 0.1 second (~7 metres) whilst the sampling interval of the gamma-ray spectrometric data was 1 second (~70 metres). Navigation and flight path recovery information were provided by the satellite Global Positioning System (GPS), which was recorded once per second.

These digital data (point located and gridded), along with GA's entire geophysical database may be downloaded free of charge using the Geophysical Archive Data Delivery System. A CD-ROM of the data is available for A$99 (incl. GST; postage and packing extra) from: Geoscience Australia, GPO Box 378, Canberra ACT 2601 Australia. Telephone: +61 (0)2 6249 9966; Facsimile: +61 (0)2 6249 9982; email: sales@ga.gov.au

For more information contact Peter Percival on +61 (0)2 6249 9578 or by email at Peter.Percival@ga.gov.au

6. Index of new SHRIMP geochronology results

Geoscience Australia's OZCHRON web page and Geochronology web page now provide links to an index of new SHRIMP geochronology results entered into OZCHRON. From the list of new geochronology results it is possible to generate reports that summarise the results and interpreted ages.

Addresses for the relevant web pages are:

For more information contact Geochronology on +61 (0)2 62499206 or by email to Geochronology@ga.gov.au

7. Australian Iron Oxide Cu-Au deposits and Gawler Craton inversion modelling

Two presentations from the 17th Australian Geological Convention in Hobart in February 2004 are now available at the Gawler Project website.

The first entitled Iron-oxide Cu-Au deposits: An Australian perspective on their unifying characteristics is a Keynote presentation by Dr Roger Skirrow. This talk and accompanying abstract includes some of the recent results from Geoscience Australia's work in the Gawler Craton, as well as drawing on studies of the Cloncurry Cu-Au district, Tennant Creek Au-Cu-Bi district, and Curnamona Province.

The second, Constrained three-dimensional inversion of potential field data and crustal architecture of the Olympic Cu-Au province, South Australia and accompanying abstract by Nick Williams and others, illustrates recent advances in inversion modelling of regional magnetic and gravity data, applied to the Olympic Dam region. New results include 3D mapping of magnetite- and hematite-bearing alteration zones. Aspects of this work also were published in the April issue of the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists' Preview journal.

For more information contact Roger Skirrow by phone on +61 (0)2 6249 9442 or by email at Roger.Skirrow@ga.gov.au

8. Gawler Craton State of Play 2004 and Seismic Workshop, Adelaide 4-6 August

Geoscience Australia and Primary Industries and Resources South Australia are holding Gawler Craton: State of Play 2004 conference and Seismic Workshop at the AMF Centre in Adelaide on 4-6 August. Highlights will include a core display and release of new data and concepts for mineral explorers in the Olympic Cu-Au province, Harris Greenstone Belt, Central Gawler Gold province, Mulgathing Complex and western Gawler Craton. Other themes are Mineral Sands, Diamonds, and New Frontiers.

The Seismic Workshop on 6 August will see the public release of last year's seismic survey of the Olympic Cu-Au province. The seismic images show the structure and depth of Neoproterozoic basins, and shallow to deep crustal architecture of basement in the Olympic Dam region. Speakers from industry, PIRSA, Geoscience Australia, CRCLEME and universities will give you the latest information on Gawler Craton mineralisation, exploration under cover, and tectonics that controlled mineralisation.

Details, updates, and registration forms are available on the PIRSA web site.

For more information contact Roger Skirrow on +61 (0)2 6249 9442 or by email at Roger.Skirrow@ga.gov.au

9. Interoperability of Geospatial Data delivery for the Australian Minerals Industry

As part of their Innovation Access Program, AUSIndustry has funded a development project for a Technology Roadmap for Implementing Interoperability of Geospatial Data Delivery for Australian Minerals Industry. The goals of this project are consistent with Recommendation 9 of the Minerals Action Agenda viz "the Commonwealth, the States, Northern Territory and industry cooperatively support the development and implementation of nation-wide protocols, standards and systems that provide for Internet-based access to, and effective storage and archiving of, all exploration-related data, including government-generated pre-competitive geoscience datasets and industry-generated exploration data."

Increased expenditure is recommended to accelerate the on-line availability of Commonwealth spatial and other geoscience information, and permit the development of web-based services. (See http://www.industry.gov.au/assets/documents/itrinternet/minerals_aa_finalreport_July2003.pdf). This AUSIndustry project is supported by the Minerals Council of Australia. It is being conducted by a consortium from CSIRO Exploration and Mining, Geoscience Australia, the CRC for Predictive Mineral Discovery and Social Change Online. The project is supported by the Commonwealth, State and Territory geological surveys through their Government Geoscience Information Policy Advisory Council (GGIPAC). It will develop a roadmap, an open source reference software implementation, and a demonstrator of real time access to point location data, such as geochemistry, gravity, which are distributed across several surveys to provide a basis for future developments.

It will be made available through the existing Australian Geoscience Portal for review and comment by the broader community. Further details are available on the SEEGrid website.

For more information contact:

10. XMML goes live

The key enabler for Interoperability in the Mining Industry is the eXploration and Mining Markup Language, or XMML, which is an XML based encoding program for geoscience and exploration information. The XMML project was initiated by CSIRO and Fractal Graphics in 2000 and had financial support from industry and all Commonwealth, State and Territory Geological Surveys. The goal of the XMML project was to develop a data transfer encoding to facilitate the exchange between applications on the desktop, between networked computers, organisations, and possibly over time archiving. Encodings have now been developed for the following in XMML (v 1.0):

  • Borehole with logs
  • Geochemistry result (Assay data and Statutory reporting data)
  • Geological Timescale (adopted by NSF CHRONOS project)
  • Geometry features based on Points, Curves, Surfaces and Solids, extensions with basic properties, and extensions suitable for map-features
  • Geological boundaries of various types
  • Mineral occurrence
  • Observation, gravity measurement
  • various Coverage features (including Pointsetcoverage, Interval coverage, Curve coverage, TIN coverage, Rectified Grid coverage)
  • Procedures, Instruments, Events
  • Project, Specimen, Station, Tenement, Material
  • Optimised 3-D geometry components
  • tri-surface, brick/wedge/pyramid/

The XMML code is now freely available from the SEEGrid website. For more information contact Frank Brassil (GA) at +61 (0)2 6249 9435 or email Frank.Brassil@ga.gov.au

11. About "Minerals Alert"

For more information contact Mike Huleatt on +61 2 6249 9087 or email mike.huleatt@ga.gov.au.

To view past editions of Geoscience Australia's Minerals Alert, visit the Minerals Alert Newsletter Archive.

Topic contact: media@ga.gov.au Last updated: October 4, 2013