Minerals Alert

April 2018

A monthly online newsletter with product news, data releases and project highlights relating to the minerals and energy exploration industries.

  1. MinEx CRC Announcement
  2. Resources 2030 Taskforce
  3. A new era of Solid Geology Mapping
  4. Exploring for the Future Data Release
  5. New geochronology report and data available
  6. Geoscience Australia SHRIMP instrument: years old and going strong
  7. Update on geophysical data release
  8. About Minerals Alert

1. MinEx CRC Announcement

On the 28th March the Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja and the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator the Hon Matt Canavan announced $50 million of Australian Government funding for research for the establishment of a new Mining Exploration Cooperative Research Centre (CRC). This government funding is set to leverage a further $165 million of cash and in-kind funding from CRC participants.

The ten-year MinEx CRC, commencing July 2018, will create new opportunities for mineral discovery by delivering industry led, outcome focussed research. Geoscience Australia's role in the MinEX CRC will be collaborating with the State and Northern Territory geological surveys on the National Drilling Initiative (NDI). Our key partners at this stage of the NDI are the Geological Surveys of Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales with affiliate partners from Queensland, Northern Territory, Victoria and Tasmania.

For further information, email clientservices@ga.gov.au or phone 1800 800 173.

2. Resources 2030 Taskforce

On Wednesday 28th March Minister for Resources and Northern Australia addressed the National Press on the topic 'The Long Mining Boom' where he announced the establishment of an expert-led Resources 2030 Taskforce. The Taskforce, chaired by Andrew Cripps, formerly Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, will be tasked with identifying and bringing forward bold, attainable reforms to the Australian resource sector. Each reform will ensure the sector's competitiveness and sustainability to 2030 and beyond. The taskforce, which includes former Geoscience Australia CEO Chris Pigram, will present its findings to the Minister by August 2018 and they will be used by government as a basis to develop a National Resources Statement.

For further information, email clientservices@ga.gov.au or phone 1800 800 173.

3. A new era of Solid Geology Mapping

Exploring for the Future subsurface geology maps over the Tennant Creek to Mt Isa area were released at the Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES) in Alice Springs on 20-21 March. This release marks the start of a new era in national geological mapping which progressively strips off Cenozoic, Mesozoic, Paleozoic and Neoproterozoic age cover units to reveal the subsurface geology at approximately 1:1M scale. These maps will underpin resource potential assessments conducted by Geoscience Australia. Already the work has revealed the spatial extent of the South Nicholson Basin is almost three times larger than previously thought. The new maps can be accessed here.

For further information, email clientservices@ga.gov.au or phone 1800 800 173.

4. Exploring for the Future Data Release

New South Nicholson Seismic Data

In early August 2017, Geoscience Australia acquired deep crustal seismic reflection data in the region between the southern McArthur Basin and the Mt Isa western succession, crossing the South Nicholson Basin and Murphy Province. This acquisition program was a collaboration with the Northern Territory Geological Survey and the Geological Survey of Queensland. Previously there was no seismic data and minimal well data for the region, which is approximately the size of Tasmania. The new data now dramatically increase our geological understanding of this highly prospective region.

The objective of this project was to explore exposed and undercover sedimentary basins and structures to better understand the location and scale of potential energy resources. This data will also support mineral exploration through the improved understanding of the region's geological evolution and identification of geological terranes with greater mineral potential. Initial field stack data are of excellent quality and image a variety of previously unknown features.

For prestack migration SEGY data visit the New seismic in the South Nicholson Basin region web page.

New Solid Geology Maps

Time-slice Solid Geology Maps at 1:1M scale for the region between Tennant Creek, the Batten Fault Zone and Mount Isa have been released. This data package is an interpretation of geological units beneath Cenozoic, Mesozoic and Paleozoic unconformities based on potential field datasets and limited drilling information. This is the first release from an  ongoing program to systematically interpret the subsurface geology across northern Australia.

Australian Geological Provinces version 2.0 includes revision of Australian basin outlines such as the South Nicholson Basin.

New Magnetotelluric Data Available

Two new magnetotelluric products are available from Geoscience Australia's website. 1) Electrical Conductivity Structures from Magnetotelluric Data in Cloncurry Region (data acquisition 2016). 2) Electrical Conductivity Structure Derived from Magnetotelluric Data in the South-Eastern Mount Isa Region (data acquisition 2014). Both data acquisition programs were funded by the Geological Survey of Queensland and both were collaborative projects between the Geological Survey of Queensland and Geoscience Australia.

For further information, email clientservices@ga.gov.au or phone 1800 800 173.

5. New geochronology report and data available

Northern Territory Geological Survey Record 2017-008 by Kositcin, Whelan, Reno, Kraus and Beyer reports new SHRIMP U-Pb results from 10 samples of magmatic and metamorphic rocks of the Arnhem Province, Northern Territory. Results were acquired using the Geoscience Australia SHRIMP instrument as part of the ongoing geochronology collaboration between Geoscience Australia and the Northern Territory Geological Survey. Geochronology data presented in this Record are also available for download via Geoscience Australia's Geochron Delivery system.

For further information, email clientservices@ga.gov.au or phone 1800 800 173.

6. Geoscience Australia SHRIMP instrument: years old and going strong

1st April 2018 marked the 10th anniversary of the official opening of the Geoscience Australia SHRIMP laboratory. Over the past 10 years the SHRIMP instrument has provided high-quality U-Pb ages from ~1200 samples across Australia, with results being made publicly available in ~130 peer-reviewed publications and via the online Geochron Delivery system. Impacts have included very significant changes to understanding of Australian geology, and the controls on mineralisation in both near-surface and buried parts of the continent, with attendant mineral exploration implications. The SHRIMP is expected to continue to play a key role in the next generation of mineral exploration by analysing samples from undercover regions as part of the newly-announced MinEx CRC.

For further information, email clientservices@ga.gov.au or phone 1800 800 173.

7. Update on geophysical data release

Geoscience Australia is managing the geophysical data acquisition programs in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory on behalf of the state/territory geological surveys.

The current status of Geoscience Australia's geophysical survey data acquisition is available in a comprehensive table.

For further information, email clientservices@ga.gov.au or phone 1800 800 173.

8. About Minerals Alert

For more information, please email clientservices@ga.gov.au; or phone 1800 800 173.

To read past editions of Geoscience Australia's Minerals Alert, visit the Minerals Alert Newsletter Archive.

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