Collated dataset provides clues to Georgina Basin mineral and petroleum potential

09 October 2014

Photograph of a core tray displaying a section of core from a drillhole in the southern Georgina Basin. The rock is a fine-grained limestone with bands of darker, clay-rich layers.

An example of a core from the
southern Georgina Basin analysed
using a HyLoggerTM instrument.

A new mineralogical dataset has been generated for the Georgina Basin in the Northern Territory and Queensland that will aid explorers in their search for petroleum and mineral resources.

The work, utilising the HyLoggingTM technique, was undertaken by Geoscience Australia in collaboration with the Northern Territory and State governments and is helping to assess the unconventional petroleum resource potential of the Georgina Basin. The basin is also prospective for mineral resources, such as diamonds, phosphate and base metals including copper, lead and zinc.

Most of the southern Georgina Basin is under license for petroleum exploration, with explorers targeting hydrocarbons sourced from the middle Cambrian Arthur Creek Formation (approximately 505 million years old). Several wells that intersect the Arthur Creek Formation have encountered oil and gas, partly sourced from organic-rich shale in the lower part of the formation. These new data will help to map the thickness and extent of this shale and other prospective formations, assisting explorers by improving the identification of future drilling targets.

The HyLoggingTM data were obtained from drill cores from twenty-five existing petroleum, mineral and stratigraphic wells distributed across the Northern Territory and Queensland parts of the basin. The core samples were analysed using robotic HyloggingTM instruments, which use reflectance spectroscopy to determine the mineral composition of the drill core samples.

The drill cores from the Georgina Basin were analysed by the geological surveys of the Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales, using the HyLoggingTM facilities provided under the AuScope-funded National Virtual Core Library Project under the National Collaborative Research Infrastucture Strategy.

The resulting HyLoggingTM data have been integrated with other existing geophysical, geological and geochemical datasets for this package, which will be used to facilitate multidisciplinary use and ease of comparison between the various data types.

The data package includes the raw HyLoggingTM data files, reprocessed HyLoggingTM data, high resolution core images, a report summarising the technical components of the data reprocessing, and a copy of the free viewer version of The Spectral Geologist software required to view and export the data. The complete data package is now available at the cost of transfer from Geoscience Australia Client Services.