Exploring for the Future was a $100.5 million initiative by the Australian Government dedicated to boosting investment in resource exploration in Australia.

The four-year program (2016-2020) focused on northern Australia and parts of South Australia. The under-explored northern Australian region offers enormous potential for industry development and is advantageously located close to major global markets.

Geoscience Australia's leading scientists used and developed new innovative techniques to gather new scientific data and information, on an unprecedented scale, about the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources concealed beneath the surface. This work was undertaken in greenfield areas, where the Exploring for the Future program had the greatest impact.

The program's activities involved data acquisition using geophysical surveys, geochemical sampling, hydrological mapping and stratigraphic drilling. The data collected was analysed and integrated to provide a holistic picture of the mineral, energy and groundwater resources available in northern Australia and parts of South Australia.

The new data is publicly available. It will continue to inform policy and planning decisions within government and industry. This information will also support and encourage industry regarding increased investment in Australia's vast resources.

Data and information releases

The pre-competitive data and knowledge has been released to support and de-risk resource decision making and investment. All available data and information will be published on our website and through the new data delivery system.

Project activities

This map shows the current Exploring for the Future activities across northern Australia. Download map in high resolution [JPG 4.1 MB]

Program partners

Geoscience Australia partnered with the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australian, and Western Australian Governments to facilitate the delivery of the program. Geoscience Australia is working closely with the State and Northern Territory Geological Surveys.

The Mining Equipment, Technology and Services sector is also being contracted to undertake some of the fieldwork, providing new jobs in regional areas.