News Mapping Australia’s heavy minerals in world-first

Published:25 October 2023

The Australian Government’s Exploring for the Future program is continuing to deliver for the resources industry with the release of a new tool to support the discovery of minerals critical to the net zero transformation.

The Heavy Mineral Map of Australia, developed by Geoscience Australia in collaboration with Curtin University, has been created using heavy mineral samples found in floodplain sediments from across the country.

Heavy minerals are used around the world for mineral and energy exploration, including in the search for critical minerals.

By analysing the heavy mineral samples in floodplain sediments, geologists can determine the likelihood of mineral deposits upstream.

For example, if the mineral scheelite is found in a sediment sample, the catchment upstream may contain tungsten. Tungsten is a critical element used in the production of electrodes, an essential ingredient in batteries.