Minerals Alert September 2006

  1. Prime Minister announces new offshore and onshore exploration initiatives
  2. Offshore Minerals Map released
  3. Nickel sulphide deposits in Australia - a comprehensive synthesis
  4. Update on geophysical data releases
  5. Update on geophysical survey data acquisition
  6. New geophysical surveys
  7. About Email Alert

1. Prime Minister announces new offshore and onshore exploration initiatives

On 14 August 2006, in a statement to Parliament, the Prime Minister announced a number of new energy-related measures including "Support for Offshore and Onshore Exploration". Included in this measure was $58.9 million to be provided to Geoscience Australia for it to pioneer innovative, integrated geoscientific research to better understand the geological potential of onshore Australia for both minerals and petroleum. The research will apply the latest developments in geophysical imaging and mapping technologies, including seismic, airborne electromagnetics and radiometrics. These will assist in defining the potential for new mineral energy sources and also highlight the potential for geothermal energy from high heat-producing terrains under blankets of sedimentary cover. The seismic data will also assist in identifying potential opportunities for exploration of onshore petroleum. Initiatives in relation to offshore exploration were also announced.

For further information, please email James Johnson, or phone +61 (0)2 6249 9236.

2. Offshore Minerals Map released

The first map of seabed mineral occurrences and deposits in Australian waters was released in August 2006. The Offshore Mineral Locations map sheds light on the mineral prospectivity in this exciting, but poorly known, frontier. It should serve also to ensure mineral values are considered in marine planning and decision making. The map is the result of a collaborative project between Geoscience Australia, CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship and Division of Exploration and Mining, and each of the State and Northern Territory Geological Surveys.

The map can be downloaded as a PDF on Geoscience Australia's website and a 1:10 000 000 map is available from the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre on Freecall 1800 800 173 (within Australia) or +61 2 6249 9966.

For further information, please email Bill McKay, or phone +61 (0)2 6249 9003.

3. Nickel sulphide deposits in Australia - a comprehensive synthesis

The nickel industry in Australia is currently experiencing a "boom" with metal prices spiralling to record levels (at least US$34 750/tonne), low global stockpiles, and exploration expenditures and activities at all-time highs. A major review paper providing a comprehensive synthesis and up-to-date summary of the diverse settings of nickel sulphide deposits in Australia has been published online by Ore Geology Reviews. The paper "Nickel sulfide deposits in Australia: characteristics, resources, and potential", by Dean Hoatson, Subhash Jaireth, and Lynton Jaques, identifies local and regional features which distinguish fertile- from barren-magmatic (komatiitic and tholeiitic) systems. The paper's strong economic focus will also enhance its impact on both national and international audiences.

The paper will appear in Ore Geology Reviews, volume 29, Nos 3-4, October 2006, and can be viewed via ScienceDirect.

For further information, please email Dean Hoatson,or phone +61 (0)2 6249 9593.

4. Update on geophysical data releases

Datasets from five new geophysical surveys were released in August 2006. The final datasets can be downloaded from the Geoscience Australia Geophysical Archive Data Delivery System (GADDS) facility at no charge.

Gravity surveys

Location State Survey Orientation Spacing 1:250 000 Map Sheets
East Arunta NT Gravity east-west 2 km Huckitta, Tobermory, Ollogwa Creek, Hay River

Airborne geophysical surveys

Location State Survey Orientation Spacing Ground Clearance Line length (km) 1:250 000 Map Sheets
Bowen - Surat South Qld Airborne magnetic & radiometric east-west 400 m 80 m 154 000 Homeboin, Surat, Dalby, Ipswich, St George and Goondiwindi
Mount Isa West Qld Airborne magnetic & radiometric east-west and north-south (north of -21.56°) 400 m 80 m 63 000 Mount Isa (western 20%), Urandangi (western 20%), Glenormiston (two-thirds), Mount Whelan (northern 20%)
Paterson Central WA Airborne magnetic & radiometric east-west 400 m 60 m 94 300 Nullagine, Paterson Range, Rudall
Paterson South - East WA Airborne magnetic & radiometric east-west 400 m 60 m 28 400 Rudall, Tabletop

For further information, please email Murray Richardson, or phone +61 (0)2 6249 9229.

5. Update on geophysical survey data acquisition

Geoscience Australia has received raw and processed data from the Paterson Central and Paterson South-East surveys, and the Bowen-Surat South and Isa West Surveys for QA/QC testing.

The status of current surveys is:

Location State Survey % Complete Gravity Stations Flight Lines Spacing Ground Clearance Comments
Musgrave Extension WA Airborne magnetic & radiometric 51% N/A northern area north-south; southern area east-west 400 m 60 m This survey is comprised of 2 separate areas
Ashburton WA Airborne magnetic & radiometric 11% N/A north-south 400 m 60 m  
Southern Officer Basic WA Airborne magnetic & radiometric 5% N/A north-south 400 m 60 m  
Webb WA Gravity 22% 4100 new east-west 2.5 km N/A  
Murchison WA Gravity N/A 3600 new east-west 2.5 km N/A This survey is expected to commence in October
Bowen-Surat North Qld Airborne magnetic & radiometric 100% N/A east-west 400 m 80 m  
Isa South-West Qld Airborne magnetic & radiometric 100% N/A east-west 400 m 80 m  
Isa South-East Qld Airborne magnetic & radiometric 12% N/A east-west 400 m 80 m  
Isa Area B Qld Gravity 57% 9898 new east-west 2 km & 4 km N/A Dobbyn and the eastern half of Camooweal 1:250 000 map sheet areas at 2 km station spacing;
Donors Hill, Lawn Hill, western half of Camooweal and western half of Mount Isa 1:250 000 map sheet areas at 4 km station spacing

For further information, please email Murray Richardson, or phone +61 (0)2 6249 9229.

6. New geophysical surveys

Geoscience Australia will be managing a new data acquisition program in Queensland, Northern Territory and Tasmania.

Location State Survey Area (km2) Gravity Stations Flight Lines Spacing Ground Clearance Notes
Mount Isa C1 - Duchess and Urandangi Qld Gravity 68 000 with C2 (below) ~9 236 with C2 (below) N/A 2.0 km grid N/A Request for quotation closes on 6 September
Mount Isa C2 - Glenormiston and Mount Whelan Qld Gravity 68 000 with C1 (above) ~9 236 with C1 (above) N/A 4.0 km grid N/A Request for quotation closes on 6 September
Tiwi Islands NT Airborne magnetic & radiometric 10 200 N/A north-south 400 m 80 m Covers parts of the Bathurst Island, Melville Island and Darwin 1:250 000 map sheet areas
North-East Tasmania Tas Airborne magnetic & radiometric 8600 N/A east - west 200 m 90 m  
Flinders Island Tas Airborne magnetic & radiometric 2900 N/A east - west 200 m 90 m  
Offshore west of King Island Tas Airborne magnetic & radiometric 27 260 N/A east - west 800 m 130 m  

For further information, please email Murray Richardson, or phone +61 (0)2 6249 9229.

7. About Email 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