Darling-Curnamona-Delamerian

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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 project will encourage mineral and groundwater resource exploration and discovery and document new methods for exploring for mineral deposits through the overlying sedimentary basin cover. The project will acquire new data and create new understanding to improve drought resilience in communities and help to provide baseline environmental data for a sustainable future. New resource systems syntheses will stimulate the creation of business and employment opportunities, particularly in the Broken Hill region.

Lack of water security limits future economic opportunities and can affect community and environmental health. In much of the country groundwater is a critical resource supporting a range of users. There are many challenges to using groundwater including understanding the complexities of surface-groundwater connectivity, managing groundwater over-allocation and protecting environmental assets. This project will support communities along the upper Darling River floodplain by bringing an integrated understanding of the quality and extent of groundwater resources, the scale of groundwater-surface water connectivity and providing options for managed aquifer recharge to encourage drought resilience.

Proposed key activities will include new multi-scale geophysical data acquisition (airborne electromagnetics, magnetotellurics, passive seismic, deep reflection seismic, SNMR and downhole geophysics); stratigraphic and groundwater drilling; hydrogeochemical, geochronological and geochemical sampling and analysis; and integration of this new data with historical and state data to deliver geological framework understanding and resource potential assessments. The project will work collaboratively to complement state government and MinEx CRC initiatives in the region.