Ministers launch new roadmap for Australian minerals industry

22 July 2015

A stratigraphic drilling rig recovering drill core samples

A stratigraphic drilling rig
in operation

The Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane, together with the Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Marmion, has launched a new roadmap for the Australian minerals industry.

The AMIRA Roadmap for Exploration Under Cover, launched in Perth, outlines a new long-term research and development strategy for the minerals industry and for collection of new pre-competitive geoscience data needed to help locate new mineral deposits.

The strategy sets out for the first time a unified set of priority activities to make a dramatic improvement in greenfields and under cover mineral exploration in Australia.

"Most major mineral deposits were discovered decades ago, largely from regions that outcropped. In mining these areas, Australia has developed a high-quality, efficient and world-renowned mining sector, but it means exploration success rates have declined over time," Mr Macfarlane said.

This has led to a common misconception that Australia is mature in relation to mineral exploration and discovery. Part of this perception arises because much of Australia's prospective geology is concealed beneath the cover of younger sediments.

"Exploration has become more costly and technically difficult because new discoveries will inevitably be more deeply buried than the minerals that have been already found."

"We need to develop new technology and ways to enable us to search beneath the 80 per cent of the continent that is covered by non-mineralised rocks and sediments."

The new approach aims to deliver major new mines for Australia by locating and unlocking future mineral wealth, and positioning Australia as the global leader in exploration beneath deep sediment cover.

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