Minerals Alert October 2009

  1. New opportunities for nickel and platinum explorers
  2. Large igneous provinces mapped for Ni-PGE explorers
  3. New Australian minerals maps released
  4. New North Queensland products released
  5. National Geochemical Survey of Australia update
  6. Geodynamic synthesis of the Phanerozoic of Eastern Australia and implications for metallogeny
  7. Rum Jungle - Pine Creek Airborne Electromagnetic survey
  8. Paterson South Airborne Electromagnetic survey - infill areas S2 and S3
  9. Seismic data available over the web
  10. Newly released data in South Australia - Curnamona seismic traverse (08GA-C1)
  11. Update on geophysical data releases
  12. About Minerals Alert

1. New opportunities for nickel and platinum explorers

Geoscience Australia has released a detailed, web-based map, Australian Archean Mafic-Ultramafic Magmatic Events. This new national map (comprising two sheets) complements the recently published Proterozoic magmatic event map series and shows, for the first time, the geographic extent and age relationships of Archean mafic and ultramafic rocks and associated mineral deposits throughout the continent. Twenty-six major Archean magmatic events are identified and a Time-Space-Event chart and associated maps focus on the distribution and characterisation of these prospective rocks under cover in the Yilgarn Craton. The new map will be of interest to explorers searching for nickel, platinum-group elements, chromium, titanium, vanadium, and cobalt. It will provide a national framework for investigating potentially mineralised environments and understanding the dynamic evolution of the Australian continent.

For further information, email dean.hoatson@ga.gov.au; or phone +61 2 6249 9593.

2. Large igneous provinces mapped for Ni-PGE explorers

Geoscience Australia has released a large format, web-based map of Australian Proterozoic Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs). Spatial and temporal distributions of LIPs, mapped at 1:5 million scale and with a time series, point to continent-scale controls on the locations of these major events. The new map will interest explorers searching for nickel, platinum-group elements, chromium, titanium, vanadium and cobalt. It provides a national framework for investigating potentially mineralised environments and for understanding the dynamic evolution of the Australian continent.

For further information email jon.long@ga.gov.au; or phone +61 2 6249 9418.

3. New Australian minerals maps released

Geoscience Australia has released new editions of its 1:5 million scale Australian Mines and Mineral Deposits Maps using four thematic base maps, the Geo-regions of Australia map, the Magnetic Anomaly Map of Australia, the Gravity Anomaly Map of the Australian Region and the Radiometric Map of Australia. This release will be the first time the new radiometric map has been used as a base map for the mineral deposits. In addition, a new edition of the Australian Operating Mines Map (1:10 million scale) is available. All maps are available from the Maps of Australia web page.

For further information email mike.huleatt@ga.gov.au; or phone +61 2 6249 9087.

4. New North Queensland products released

As part of the Onshore Energy Geodynamic Framework project, two new maps of areas in North Queensland have been constructed. They are of the Basement Geology of Northern Queensland and the Depth to Basement of Northwest Queensland.

The Basement Geology of Northern Queensland map interpretation drew extensively on published 1:100 000, 1:250 000 and smaller scale regional geological maps as well as analysis of regional aeromagnetic and gravity and bore hole data. The GIS dataset which accompanies this map contains lithostratigraphic units compiled at 1:1 million scale.

The Depth to Basement of Northwest Queensland map shows the basement geology beneath younger flat-lying cover material. The map was generated using drill hole data from a number of sources as well as seismic depths estimated from refracted first breaks for the North Queensland seismic lines 06GA-M4, 06GA-M5 and 07GA-IG1. Magnetic depth estimates were generated from airborne magnetic profile data using the Naudy method and from forward modelled profiles. Magnetic depth estimates also were sourced from existing reports.

For further information, email narelle.neumann@ga.gov.au; or phone +61 2 6249 9429.

5. National Geochemical Survey of Australia update

The National Geochemical Survey of Australia (NGSA) is aimed at producing the first geochemical atlas of Australia based on the multi-element analysis of transported regolith samples collected at the outlet of around 1400 large catchments covering 91 per cent of the continent. The project, which is a collaborative venture with the geological surveys of all States and the Northern Territory under a National Geoscience Agreement, started in January 2007. Recent progress includes:

  • sample collection has reached 83 per cent nationally
  • sampling is completed in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory
  • sampling in South Australia and Western Australia is ongoing and will conclude this month to allow subsequent project milestones to be met
  • 75 per cent of the total samples have been submitted for analysis
  • the NGSA Sample Preparation Manual, the companion volume to the NGSA Field Manual, has been released.

More information on the NGSA project and an updated map of sampling progress can be found on the NGSA web page.

For further information, email patrice.decaritat@ga.gov.au; or phone +61 2 6249 9378.

6. Geodynamic synthesis of the Phanerozoic of Eastern Australia and implications for metallogeny

Geoscience Australia has just released a detailed report on the results of a Geodynamic Synthesis of the Phanerozoic of Eastern Australia and Implications for Metallogeny extending over a time period between 600 to 220Ma. The report was undertaken to better understand the tectonic and geodynamic setting of existing mineral deposits within eastern Australia as well as provide a predictive capability based for potential new mineral styles and commodities.

The report is delivered in three parts:

  • geological summaries and time-space-event plots for the Lachlan, New England, Thomson and North Queensland Orogens
  • interpreted geological and geodynamic synthesis for eastern Australia, including possible tectonic configurations
  • a synthesis of known mineralisation, which is used with the geodynamic synthesis for predictive mineral potential for eastern Australia.

For further information see the June 2009 issue of AusGeo News.

7. Rum Jungle - Pine Creek airborne electromagnetic survey

Airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data for the Pine Creek - Rum Jungle area (Rum Jungle to Katherine) in the Northern Territory was released on 30 September 2009. The data acquired for Geoscience Australia were collected on flight lines with spacings of 5km and 1.66km using the TEMPEST time-domain system.

The survey covers much of the Pine Creek 1: 250 000 Sheet and surrounds to the west and south. The acquired data provides regional insights into the conductivity distribution of metamorphic rocks of the Pine Creek Orogen and Finniss River Group, sediments of the Tolmer Group and Daly Basin, and regolith materials. A large portion of the survey area is underlain by resistive rocks within which are strata bound conductivity anomalies. This region is, therefore, well suited to exploration using electromagnetic techniques. The survey area covers many mineral occurrences but those of note include Mount Woods (Au), Cosmo Howley (Au) and Mount Todd (Au).

The survey results provide information on the conductivities of a wide variety of surface and near surface materials which will aid exploration in the application of AEM in the region. In particular, the data will assist exploration by mapping the distribution of graphitic schists, a favoured host rock for unconformity related uranium deposits.

For further information, email alan.whitaker@ga.gov.au; or phone +61 2 6249 9702.

8. Paterson South airborne electromagnetic survey - infill areas S2 and S3

At the request of Western Areas NL, a subscription company to the Paterson South AEM survey, Geoscience Australia released airborne electromagnetic data (AEM) during August 2009 for Paterson South infill areas S2 and S3 in Western Australia. The data were acquired on line spacings between 286 and 400 metres using the TEMPEST time-domain system. The regional AEM data for Paterson South surrounding these infill areas were released in March 2009.

For further information, email alan.whitaker@ga.gov.au; or phone +61 2 6249 9702.

9. Seismic data available over the web

Deep crustal seismic data acquired through the Onshore Energy Security Program are now available. Processed SEG Y data and TIFF images as well as surveying and gravity data are available for download from the Seismic Acquisition and Processing web page.

For further information, email jenny.maher@ga.gov.au or phone +61 2 6249 9896.

10. Newly released data in South Australia - Curnamona seismic traverse (08GA-C1)

This 262km north-south seismic survey line runs parallel to the eastern shore of Lake Frome and crosses over the Mount Painter Province, Benagerie Ridge and the southern Olary Domain within the Curnamona Province. The data acquired provides information on greenfields uranium, minerals and geothermal potential in the Benagerie Ridge and Mount Painter regions. The northern and southern parts of the line cross regions with known sandstone-hosted uranium deposits associated with the Frome Embayment, such as the Beverley and Honeymoon mine sites. In addition, the seismic survey traversed the eastern margin of the South Australian Heat Flow Anomaly near Australia's hottest granites at Mount Painter, a region of interest for the geothermal energy.

The un-interpreted processed data for the Curnamona seismic traverse was released at the Broken Hill Exploration Initiative Conference (BHEI 2009) on 29 September 2009.

For further information, email jenny.maher@ga.gov.au; or phone +61 2 6249 9896.

11. Update on geophysical data releases

The current status of Geoscience Australia's geophysical survey data acquisition is now available in a comprehensive table.

The Cunderdin regional survey data (nominal 500m - 2km grid) were released via GADDS on 3 September 2009. The survey covers the Perth, Kellerberrin, Pinjarra and Corrigin 1:250 000 Map Sheets.

For further information, email murray.richardson@ga.gov.au; or phone +61 2 6249 9229.

12. 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