Barkly–Isa–Georgetown

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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 as part of the first phase of the program and provide new data to constrain energy and mineral potential in under-cover regions between the Tennant Creek, Mount Isa and Croydon mineral provinces. The project will also demonstrate new approaches to realising a circular economy by investigating the potential for recovering critical minerals from mining waste.

Building on the work completed under the first phase of Exploring for the Future, the project will analyse drill core samples obtained from recent drilling in the East Tennant and South Nicholson regions, in collaboration with the MinEx CRC, providing direct tests of geological interpretations and mineral systems potential in these covered regions. Further geochemical analyses will investigate geochemical anomalies in the Northern Australia Hydrogeochemical Survey (NAHS) data relating to phosphates, and other mineral potential in the Georgina Basin.

Acquisition of magnetotelluric (MT) data will extend the existing AusLAMP data coverage eastwards across the margins of the Mount Isa Province, and will provide complete MT coverage of the Carpentaria Conductivity Anomaly within prospective Proterozoic basement. These results can be integrated into pre-competitive geoscientific coverages in order to facilitate the progression from exploration attraction to discovery success.

This project will also demonstrate new approaches to realising the circular economy of critical minerals from mining waste by assessing the potential of selected mine waste sites for retreatment. This will involve collaborative sampling and geochemical analyses to develop a methodology for assessment that can be used elsewhere in Australia and provide an initial assessment of the potential of the targeted waste sites for retreatment.

Proposed key activities will include geochemical, geochronological and isotopic studies on drill-core samples; MT data acquisition; sampling, analysis and interpretation of mine tailings; and contributions to geological framework understanding and resource potential assessments.