AusGeo News  March 2008  Issue No. 89

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Australia’s resource stocks remain healthy overall

Cover of Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources 2007

During 2006 Australia’s economic demonstrated resources of mineral sands (ilmenite, rutile and zircon), nickel, tantalum, uranium, thorium, zinc and lead remain the world’s largest while Australia ranks amongst the top six worldwide for economic demonstrated resources of bauxite, black coal, brown coal, copper, gold, iron ore, lithium, manganese ore, niobium, silver and industrial diamond.

Over the same period Australian mineral exploration spending rose by 29 per cent to a record $1463.9 million. This growth reflects increased prices for many commodities on the back of anticipated strong and growing demand, particularly from China.

These statistics and other important information on Australia’s future capacity to produce mineral resources are included in Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources 2007. This publication is an annual nation-wide assessment of Australia’s ore reserves and mineral resources, which takes a long-term view of what is potentially economic.

The assessment includes data on mining company estimates of ore reserves as well as evaluations of long-term trends in mineral resources, international rankings, summaries of significant exploration results, mining industry developments and an analysis of mineral exploration expenditure.

Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources 2007 provides government, industry, the investment sector and the general community with an informed understanding of Australia's known mineral endowment and levels of exploration activity.

For more information phone Aden McKay on +61 2 6249 9230 (email

Related websites

Australia's Identified Mineral Resources 2007

The commodity sections are also accessible via the Australian Mines Atlas

New geophysical datasets released

Section of Tanumbirini NT geophysical data.

Datasets from five new geophysical surveys have been released since November 2007. These include four new airborne magnetic and radiometric surveys which cover part of the Mount Isa and Croydon regions in Queensland, the Tanumbirini area in the Northern Territory and northeast Tasmania. New gravity data covering part of the Cooper Basin in southwest Queensland have also been released.

The data for all the surveys were acquired during 2007 in surveys conducted and managed by Geoscience Australia on behalf of the Geological Survey of Queensland, the Northern Territory Geological Survey and Mineral Resources Tasmania.

The data have been incorporated into the national geophysical databases. The point-located and gridded data for the five surveys can be obtained free online using the GADDS download facility.

Table 1. Details of the gravity surveys.

Survey Survey Type Date of Acquisition 1:250 000 Map Sheets Station Spacing/ orientation Stations Contractor
Cooper Basin South (Qld) Gravity October - December 2007 Canterbury, Barrolka, Durham Downs, Tickalara, Windorah, Eromanga, Thargomindah, Bulloo, Adavale (pt), Quilpie (pt), Toompine (pt), Eulo (pt). 4.0 x 4.0 km
east - west
9 213 Atlas Geophysics

Table 2. Details of the airborne surveys.

Survey Survey Type Date 1:250 000 Map Sheets Line Spacing/terrain clearance/orientation Line km Contractor
Magnetic, Radiometric, Elevation June - September
Burketown, Croydon, Donors Hill, Normanton, Millungera 400 m
80 m
east - west
100 320 UTS Geophysics
East Isa South
Magnetic, Radiometric, Elevation November 2006 - July 2007 McKinlay, Manuka, Mackunda, Winton, Brighton Downs, Maneroo 400 m
80 m
east - west
144 731
Fugro Airborne Surveys
Magnetic, Radiometric, Elevation July - September 2007 Hodgson Downs, Tanumbirini, Beetaloo 400 m
80 m
east - west
49 437 UTS Geophysics
North - East Tasmania
Magnetic, Radiometric, Elevation March - September 2007 NE Tasmania 200 m
90 m
east - west
51 532 GPX Airborne

For more information phone Murray Richardson on +61 2 6249 9229 (email

Related websites

Geological Survey of Queensland

Northern Territory Geological Survey

Mineral Resources Tasmania

Natural hazard information online

Screen grab of Natural Hazards Online website

Natural Hazards Online is a new resource available to emergency managers, researchers and the general public. It is a website that presents information about natural hazards including bushfire, cyclone, earthquake, flood, landslide, severe weather, tsunami, and volcano.

Natural Hazards Online is a joint initiative between Geoscience Australia and Emergency Management Australia, and was established as a contribution to the Disaster Mitigation Australia Package. The website was developed in response to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Report on reforming mitigation, relief and recovery arrangements for natural disasters in Australia which identified the need ‘to ensure a sound knowledge base on natural disasters and disaster mitigation’.

This is the first time in Australia that a single website has been created to consolidate the broad range of information, data, maps, models and decision support tools available about natural hazards. The site provides users with a ‘one stop shop’ for natural hazards information ensuring that available content is easy to find and access.

The website provides details about each hazard, the processes behind their occurrence, where they occur in Australia and how they impact on communities. A selection of previous natural hazard events is described and a series of links are available for those who would like to find out more about a particular event.

Photographs and images are available for each type of hazard as well as reports published by Geoscience Australia which can be downloaded from the site. Guidelines and reports published by other agencies as well as a series of maps and databases can also be accessed.

A number of key emergency response tools are easily accessible through Natural Hazards Online, including the Joint Australian Tsunami Warning Centre, the Sentinel bushfire monitoring system, the Bureau of Meteorology’s tropical cyclone warning service and national weather warnings summary.

Users can also access the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, the Australian Disaster Information Network and the new report Natural Hazards in Australia: Identifying Risk Analysis Requirements. The website includes databases detailing riverine flood studies, recent and historic earthquakes, and landslides, as well as a link to an online risk prevention game.

The website also presents information about risk modelling, emergency management, and natural hazard policy as well as information about expert committees working to reduce the impact of natural hazards in Australia.

Natural Hazards Online is currently receiving approximately 17 000 hits per month. Eighty percent of these hits are from new visitors to the site, and the website presently holds the number one ranking on ‘Google’ for a natural hazards search on Australian pages.

New information and tools are being added to the website as they become available, to provide emergency managers and other decision makers involved in disaster risk reduction with important resources which will help them to assess the hazard, vulnerability and risk posed by natural disasters and make informed decisions about their management.

For more information phone Monica Osuchowski +61 2 6249 9717 (email

Related websites/articles

Natural Hazards Online

Emergency Management Australia

Landslide Database Interoperability Project (AusGeo News 84)

New Riverine Flood Hazard & Risk Studies Database (AusGeo News 82)

New reference map covers Australia

1:5 million General Reference Map of Australia.

Geoscience Australia has recently released a new version of its popular 1:5 million scale topographic General Reference Map. This is the first version to be fully digitally derived from Geoscience Australia’s renowned 1:250 000 scale (GEODATA 250K) vector data whereas previous versions of the map were compiled using traditional cartographic techniques.

Production involved selecting the features to be included on the map from base data and cartographically revising this larger scale data to fit the smaller scale map. Location names were also reviewed to ensure consistency and compliance with the geographic names allocated by state and territory authorities.

Bathymetric features from Geoscience Australia’s Australian Bathymetric Topography Grid were included to enhance the map and show the depth of the oceans and seas around the continent. This bathymetry data complements the hypsometric elevation shown on the land areas of the map to create a visually appealing product.

The General Reference Map is packaged in a plastic sleeve which includes an informative cover insert and is available in flat (ideal for framing) and folded versions and should appeal to a wide range of professional and recreational users. It is planned to release the derived data as a 1:5 million GEODATA (vector) dataset for GIS use. The General Reference Map of Australia (fifth edition) is available from map retailers or direct from Geoscience Australia.

For more information phone Geoscience Australia Sales Centre on Freecall 1800 800 173 (within Australia) or +61 2 6249 9966 (email

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