Exploring for the Future is an Australian Government program led by Geoscience Australia. The Program’s aim is to drive investment in the resources and agricultural sectors by providing industry and land and water managers with pre-competitive data about potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources.

In 2016 the Australian Government invested $100 million in the Exploring for the Future program and in June 2020, the Government expanded the Program for another four years with a further $125 million in funding, bringing the total investment to $225 million.

As part of the Exploring for the Future program expansion, in March 2021 eight (8) new projects were announced. They include three deep-dive projects in potentially resource-rich corridors identified in the east and west of Australia; three continental-scale projects that have national applications but with a focus in southern Australia; and two program-support projects.

Current Projects

Darling-Curnamona-Delamerian

This deep dive project will investigate the mineral potential of the Curnamona Province and Delamerian Orogen in eastern South Australia, western New South Wales, western Victoria and western Tasmania. It will investigate the mineral and groundwater potential of overlying basins including the Murray-Darling Basin and the upper Darling River floodplain.

Officer-Musgrave

The central deserts of Australia represent a vast tract of Australia’s arid interior spanning Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. This project will investigate the energy and minerals potential of the Officer Basin, while groundwater investigations will focus on the Musgrave Province and overlying Officer Basin.

Barkly–Isa–Georgetown

This deep dive project is in the northern half of the Eastern Corridor and includes parts of the Northern Territory and Queensland. The project will add value to energy, mineral and groundwater work already undertaken in this region.

Australia’s Resources Framework

This continental-scale project will lay the foundations for a national scale view of Australia’s subsurface geology, bringing together a wide range of geoscientific disciplines to improve our knowledge of mineral, energy and groundwater systems.

National Groundwater Systems

This continental-scale project further refines the framework for the consistent understanding of national groundwater systems. The process begins with creating a phased inventory of Australia’s groundwater systems in onshore basins.

Australia’s Future Energy Resources

This project will evaluate the prospectivity and energy resource potential of key underexplored Australian basins with an initial focus on central Australian basins.

Enhanced Data Delivery

This project will support program data compilation and acquisition while also improving the user experience and functionality of existing integrated data discovery and decision support platforms and technologies.

Geoscience Knowledge Sharing

This project will undertake pilot education and outreach activities in selected program field areas, developing two-way relationships between the community and program staff. The project will build trust, an understanding of how the program can benefit local communities and foster two-way transfer of knowledge including promotion of the positive impacts of Exploring for the Future.

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