The Australian Government’s $225 million Exploring for the Future program is committed to supporting a strong economy, resilient society and sustainable environment for the benefit of Australians.

At its heart, the program is about stimulating industry now to ensure a sustainable, long-term future for Australia through an improved understanding of the nation’s minerals, energy and groundwater resource potential. By gathering and analysing geological and geophysical data and making the results publicly available, the program supports regional development and informed decision making across Australia, resulting in jobs and growth.

The 2020-2024 program is currently focused on eight interrelated projects, united in growing our understanding of subsurface geology. 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 with a focus on southern Australia; and two program-support projects. The projects are undertaken in collaboration with Commonwealth, state, territory and university partners, and leverage the capabilities of Australia’s world-leading Mining Equipment, Technology and Services sector.

Current Projects


This deep-dive project is delivering new data and knowledge to assess mineral and groundwater potential and support water management across western New South Wales and Victoria, eastern South Australia and northwest Tasmania.


This deep-dive project is investigating the groundwater and energy potential of the Officer Basin and neighbouring Musgrave Province near the junction of South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.


This deep-dive project is delivering new data and knowledge to assess the mineral and energy potential in undercover regions between Tennant Creek, Mount Isa and Georgetown, maximising opportunities for the resources sector in the region.

Australia’s Resources Framework

This continental-scale project is laying the foundations for a national view of Australia’s surface and subsurface geology, underpinning our understanding of the continent’s mineral, energy and groundwater potential.

National Groundwater Systems

This continental-scale project is improving understanding of Australia’s groundwater resources to better support responsible groundwater management and secure groundwater resources into the future.

Australia’s Future Energy Resources

This continental-scale project is evaluating the potential for new energy commodities hosted within sedimentary basins, including oil, natural gas and hydrogen, to support Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy.

Enhanced Data Delivery

This project is supporting the program in digital transformation and data infrastructure, building on the robust and flexible systems developed during the first four years of the program.

Geoscience Knowledge Sharing

This project is supporting the program in enhancing and establishing relationships with our diverse stakeholders, building a step-change in our engagement with the communities where the program operates, including remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, farmers and rural towns.


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