Ausgeo News  March 2005  Issue no. 77

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Latest assessment identifies need for new mineral resources

Exploration for manganese ore in the East Pilbara region, WA		(Consolidated Minerals Ltd)Australia’s mineral and solid fuel resources remain reasonably healthy in the short to medium term, according to Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources 2004, released online by Geoscience Australia in late 2004. However, resource trends for some major commodities have plateaued, and our share of global exploration spending continues to fall. In the longer term, the future of the Australian minerals industry depends on more exploration and new discoveries.

Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources, published annually by Geoscience Australia, gives governments long-term estimates of ore reserves. The publication also compares our figures with industry estimates, which are generally based on shorter term planning and commercial considerations.

Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources 2004 is available on-line.The commodity sections are also accessible via Australian Mines Atlas.

For further information: phone Bill McKay on +61 2 6249 9003 or e-mail

ASTER satellite data now available

Geoscience Australia’s Australian Centre for Remote Sensing (ACRES) has extended the range of satellite image product options available to clients, following an agreement to distribute ASTER satellite data.

ASTER (the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer) is a sensor on board Japan’s TERRA satellite (see AusGeo News 76). The sensor provides data covering 14 discrete spectral bands over a 60-kilometre swath and acquired at spatial resolutions ranging from 15 metres to 90 metres.

Under the recently signed agreement with the Earth Remote Sensing Data Analysis Centre (ERSDAC) in Japan, ACRES distributes all ASTER data acquisitions (over 800 000 scenes) from ERSDAC’s comprehensive archive. This agreement makes it very easy for Australian customers to access ASTER data, simply and conveniently, through ACRES. Importantly, ACRES can also organise future acquisitions of ASTER data covering a customer’s area of interest.


View of Gosses Bluff, about 205 kilometres west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory.View of Gosses Bluff, about 205 kilometres west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, created by draping a band 7-3-1 RGB composite ASTER image over an ASTER-derived DEM. (Larger image [JPG 184Kb])


ACRES can now provide ASTER data from the ERSDAC archive and the ACRES archive. The ACRES archive currently contains over 20 000 scenes of ASTER data sourced from the United States Geological Survey, acquired over Australia mainly between March 2000 and June 2002.

This archive can be searched on the ACRES Digital Catalogue, which is accessible through Geoscience Australia’s website. The ASTER data in the ACRES archive will grow over time as the new imported data is copied into the archive.

Prices for full-scene ASTER data (covering an area 60 km _ 60 km) start at a low $99 and range up to $580 for data acquired as a ‘future acquisition’(general programming request). Future acquisition products contain path-oriented data in addition to derived ortho-corrected data and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) data.

Table 1. ASTER data pricing schedule

ASTER data from ACRES archive (sourced from USGS)
Single scene data $99
ASTER data from ERSDAC
Single scene data (levels 1A or 1B) $145
Single scene data (ortho-corrected) $290
General programming request (price includes satellite programming and data) $580

For further information: phone ACRES Customer Services on +61 2 6249 9779 or e-mail or visit

New raster makes Australia more accessible

Raster satellite & Raster topo image of Mallacoota InletFollowing the outstanding success of the NATMAP Raster Mosaic of Australia released in September 2003, Geoscience Australia has launched updated versions of this product with even better features—NATMAP Raster 2004 and NATMAP Raster 2004 Premium.

Each version includes a full set of 513 digital topographic maps covering Australia at 1:250 000 scale and should appeal to a wide range of professional and recreational users. The new versions include significant enhancements over the older versions, such as improved ability to measure distances, which was not previously available.

Important differences between the two new versions offer specific benefits depending on the intended application.

The standard NATMAP Raster 2004 provides compressed maps best suited for general use, and where memory or speed are issues (such as use with a basic PC). Supplied on a set of four CDs, NATMAP Raster 2004 carries a single image of Australia using latitude and longitude for coordinates, as well as separate map sheets with coordinates for measuring distance and area, plus a Landsat satellite image of Australia at 50-metre resolution.

NATMAP Raster 2004 Premium comes on two DVDs and is best for PCs or databases where memory space is not a problem, as the images retain quality by using only minimal compression. While the standard version has separate map sheets for measuring distance, NATMAP Raster Premium divides Australia into seven grid zones, which allow accurate measurement across map boundaries. The premium version also includes a single map of Australia at 1:250 000 scale displaying latitude and longitude and a Landsat image at 25-metre resolution.

Both new versions are ideal for laptop and desktop computers, and feature:

The new products are available from NATMAP retailers in every state and territory, or directly from Geoscience Australia’s Sales Centre.

For further information: phone the Sales Centre on Freecall 1800 800 173 (in Australia) or +61 2 6249 9966 or e-mail

Unless otherwise noted, all Geoscience Australia material on this website is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence.