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.
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.
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.
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.
News & Events
New Exploring for the Future projects announced
4 March 2021
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt today announced eight new projects will unlock the potential of Australia’s groundwater, energy and mineral resources during the next four years of the Australian Government’s $225 million Exploring for the Future program.
Exploring for the Future Stakeholder Industry Workshops
21 October 2020
Geoscience Australia will be hosting two virtual workshops for Industry Stakeholders, with the aim of engaging with resources and water-related organisations, to share information and seek feedback.
Exploring for the Future expands across Australia
11 August 2020
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt today announced that two new resource potential corridors stretching the length of mainland Australia will be the focus of the $125 million expansion of the Exploring for the Future program.
Data & Publications
Mapping the Australian Tectonic Plate Thickness
Sustainable development and transition to cleaner energy sources is placing ever-increasing demand on global supplies of base metals (copper, zinc, lead and nickel) and co-produced critical minerals (eg cobalt, germanium).
New Exploration in the East Tennant Area
Mineral exploration is a necessary activity for the continued success of the mining sector in Australia. It has a public good attribute, which means the socially optimal level of exploration activity is greater than the level of exploration activity that would be generated in a pure private market.
Kidson Sub-Basin Prospectivity
The onshore Canning Basin is a large, predominantly Palaeozoic basin which has minor oil and gas production. Despite widespread shows in different geological settings that indicate that there are at least four active petroleum systems, the basin is significantly underexplored for hydrocarbon resources.