AusGeo News  March 2007  Issue No. 85

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China Mining 2006 – A Major Promotion

Visitors to Australian Government Geoscience Group during the trade show at China Mining 2006

The China Mining 2006 convention and trade display was held at the Beijing International Convention Center between 14 and 16 November 2006 and attended by more than 2500 delegates. Geoscience Australia and the state and Northern Territory geological surveys exhibited under the banner of Australian Government Geoscience Group in the trade show. This promotion was coordinated by Geoscience Australia and the Geological Survey of Western Australia.

About 70 per cent of attendees were Chinese with the major international participants being Canada (11 per cent) and Australia (6 per cent). Interest from the Chinese delegates was wide-ranging with particular interest in nickel, iron ore, copper, uranium and minor metals. There was strong demand for information on the procedures to gain approval to explore and mine in Australia as well as our general business and regulatory environment.

Prior to the China Mining 2006 convention, an Australian Seminar was held on 13 November. The morning session was organised by Geoscience Australia, the Geological Survey of Western Australia, Invest Australia and the Australian Embassy in Beijing. The morning session covered Chinese investment in the Australian minerals sector with particular reference to exploration. This session was an unqualified success attracting some 280 delegates (virtually a capacity audience) and some lively questioning of the speakers. The afternoon session on Australian investment into China was coordinated by the Australian Embassy and the China International Mining Group.

The Chief of Geoscience Australia’s Onshore Energy and Minerals Division, Dr James Johnson, delivered presentations at both the Australian Seminar and the China Mining 2006 convention. His presentation ‘Securing the future – Australia’s Potential for New Mineral Discoveries’ reviewed Australia’s record of maintaining a strong mineral resource base which is essential to ensure security of supply to offshore customers. He also highlighted Australia’s strong potential for future discoveries to continue adding to the country’s resource base providing a strong exploration program is maintained.

For more information phone Mike Huleatt +61 2 6249 9087 (email

Minerals exploration for the next generation

Geoscience Australia scientist Leharne Fountain assists National Youth Science Forum students interpret geophysical data

Approximately 85 senior secondary students visited Geoscience Australia during January as part of the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) program. During three afternoons of applied learning in the field of gold exploration the students were divided into specialist groups to learn how to analyse real data from the goldfields of Western Australia. They analysed maps showing gravity (relating to density) and magnetic attraction, examined thin-sections of rocks under microscopes, and checked geochemical analysis data. The students also made use of geographic information systems (GIS) to examine and integrate the different types of data.

The exercise was designed to demonstrate how the diverse disciplines of geoscience are combined in mineral exploration and also involved the students in selection of the most likely areas to look for a new gold deposit. It is hoped that this introduction to the problem solving and high-tech nature of minerals exploration together with the opportunity to talk with many of the young scientists in the organisation will inspire some of them to undertake further studies in geosciences.

For more information phone Kate List on +61 2 6249 9571 (email

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