Technical Advice to Government
Last updated:7 June 2023
Geoscience Australia has provided technical advice to Government on mineral and energy resources, exploration, industry developments, land use and related environmental issues since the formation of the Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics in 1946.
This advice supports decision making and assists the development of policies and programs related to resources and energy, in particular by contributing to:
- more effective use of geoscientific information in decision making, leading to improved resource management and the sustainable development of mineral resources, and,
- enhanced global attractiveness of Australia's exploration and development investment opportunities through increased knowledge of identified mineral resources.
Publications and Resources
Geoscience Australia’s resources advice function provides, and draws on, a range of publications and digital resources. The most important are:
- Australia’s Identified Mineral Resources an annual national assessment of mineral resources
- Australian Mineral Exploration Review an annual national assessment of exploration activity
- Australian Operating Mines Map
An annual map of operating mines, mines on care and maintenance and developing mines in Australia for all major and some minor commodities. See also the accompanying Australian Operating Mines Map 2021 Data.
- Geoscience Australia’s inaugural Australia’s Energy Commodity Resources (AECR) 2021, which estimates Australia’s energy commodity reserves and resources as at the end of 2019. It also provides a pre-COVID-19 baseline for the production and remaining recoverable resources of gas, oil, coal, uranium and thorium in Australia
- Australia’s Mineral Resource Assessment a periodic assessment of major mineral commodities co-produced with the Office of the Chief Economist
- AGSON Australian Geological Survey Organisations Network a data discovery and analysis portal for geoscience data from all of Australia's state, territory and federal governments. Includes mines, mineral deposits and mineral resources data from Geoscience Australia's OZMIN database, as well mineral tenement boundaries, infrastructure, geophysical and geological data.
Whole of Government
Geoscience Australia also provides technical advice to Government for other purposes, on both a regular and ad hoc basis. Examples include:
- the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility site identification process
- development of the Northern Australia White Paper
- the Australian Government’s submission to the South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission
- submissions to various Senate and Parliamentary inquiries such as the Senate Inquiry into bauxite resources near Aurukun in Cape York and the Joint Standing Committee’s Inquiry into Governance in the Indian Ocean Territories
- advice to The Treasury in relation to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 and Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Imposition Fees Act 2015, and
- advice on proposed mining developments to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science pertaining to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Australian Government Representation
Geoscience Australia represents the Australian Government at a range of international and domestic forums including:
- the Energy Minister’s Upstream Petroleum Resources Working Group and Geoscience Working Group, plus input to the Resources Policy & Engagement Working Group
- NEA/IAEA Uranium Group, including development of the Red Book, a biennial publication listing the world’s uranium resources
- United Nations Expert Group on Resource Classification member of the Technical Advisory Group
- International Seabed Authority providing technical advice on seabed mineral resource assessment.
Australian Legislative Obligations
Geoscience Australia provides technical advice contributing to the administration of the following legislation and agreements:
- Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C2004A01402
- Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Fees Imposition Act 2015 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2015A00152
- Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C2004A00485
- Offshore Minerals Act 1994 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2010C00113
- National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2012A00029
- UN Treaty obligations to the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Red Book https://www.iaea.org
- Excise Tariff Act 1921 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Series/C1921A00026
- Excise Tariff (Fields) Guidelines (Number 1) 2008 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2008L02722