World's first continental-scale mineral map released

09 August 2012


The ASTER launch. From left to right, Dr Rob Hough, CSIRO Discovery Theme Leader, Dr Chris Pigram, CEO, Geoscience Australia, Dr Megan Clark, Chief Executive, CSIRO, Dr Tom Cudahy, CSIRO, Director, Centre for 3D Mineral mapping, Mr Jonathan Law, Director, CSIRO Minerals Down Under Flagship, Dr Rob Green, NASA JPL and head of the US satellite Hyspiri mission. Photo by Kaylene Biggs.

The ASTER launch. From left to right,
Dr Rob Hough, CSIRO Discovery,
Dr Chris Pigram, CEO, Geoscience Australia,
Dr Megan Clark, Chief Executive, CSIRO,
Dr Tom Cudahy and Mr Jonathan Law, CSIRO,
Dr Rob Green, NASA JPL and head of the US
satellite Hyspiri mission.
Photo by Kaylene Biggs


A collaboration of Australian and international partners has developed continent-scale maps derived from a 10-year archive of Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection (ASTER) data collected by NASA and the Japanese Government’s Japan Space Systems.

Geoscience Australia and the CSIRO joined with several Australian State and Territory government agencies and international organisations to produce the ASTER maps which will provide mining and exploration companies with more accurate and detailed information than ever before.

The maps were released at the 34th International Geological Congress in Brisbane by Geoscience Australia’s Chief Executive, Dr Chris Pigram, and his counterpart at CSIRO, Dr Megan Clark.

They are first continent-wide scale maps of their type in the world and provide detailed information on mineral components of rocks and soil as well as a zoom capability which allows geoscientists to view images from thousands of kilometres wide to just a few kilometres.

The map data has been used successfully already with Kentor Gold Limited announcing that several previously unknown copper-gold zones have been identified at its Jervois Copper-Silver-Gold Project in the Northern Territory.

The company said that the decision to investigate the area was prompted by the release of the ASTER map of the Northern Territory in May.

The maps can be obtained from Geoscience Australia Sales Centre , the Western Australian Centre of Excellence for 3D Mineral Mapping and from the AuScope Discovery Portal.

Maps of individual state and territory coverage can be acquired from the respective government geological surveys.

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