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  • Geoscience Australia’s Exploring for the Future program provides precompetitive information to inform decision-making by government, community and industry on the sustainable development of Australia's mineral, energy and groundwater resources. By gathering, analysing and interpreting new and existing precompetitive geoscience data and knowledge, we are building a national picture of Australia’s geology and resource potential. This leads to a strong economy, resilient society and sustainable environment for the benefit of all Australians. This includes supporting Australia’s transition to a low emissions economy, strong resources and agriculture sectors, and economic opportunities and social benefits for Australia’s regional and remote communities. The Exploring for the Future program, which commenced in 2016, is an eight-year, $225m investment by the Australian Government. The Darling-Curnamona-Delamerian (DCD) 2D reflection seismic survey was acquired during May to August 2022 in the Delamerian Orogen, the Murray-Darling basin, the Curnamona Province, and the upper Darling River floodplain regions in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales. This project is a collaboration between Geoscience Australia (GA), the Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA), the Geological Survey of Victoria (GSV) and the Geological Survey of New South Wales (GSNSW) and was funded by the Australian Government’s Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program. The overall objective of the EFTF Darling-Curnamona-Delamerian project is to improve the understanding of mineral and groundwater resources of the Curnamona Province and Delamerian Orogen and overlying basin systems through acquisition and interpretation of new pre-competitive geoscience data sets. The total length of acquisition was 1256 km distributed over five deep crustal 2D reflection seismic lines 22GA-DL1 (446 km), 22GA-DL2 (249 km), 22GA-CD1 (287 km), 22GA-CD2 (178 km), 22GA-CD3 (39.5 km) to image deep crustal structures, and a high-resolution 2D reflection seismic line 22GA-UDF (56 km) to explore groundwater resources. The DL lines provide coverage of fundamental geophysical data over the Flinders Range, the Delamerian Province and the Murray-Darling basin region in eastern South Australia and Victoria. The CD lines extend through the Curnamona Province and into the Darling Basin. The UDF line will assist with refining the hydrogeological model, understanding groundwater dynamics, and locating areas better suited to groundwater bores for better quality groundwater in the upper Darling River floodplain area. The data processing was performed by a contractor under the supervision of Geoscience Australia. The five deep crustal lines (22GA-DL1,DL2,CD1,CD2,CD3) were processed with record lengths of 20 and 8 seconds, while the shallow high-resolution line (22GA-UDF) was processed at a 4 second length. This processing yielded DMO Stack, Post-Stack Time Migration, and Pre-Stack Time Migration products. <strong>Raw shot gathers and processed gathers for this survey are available on request from clientservices@ga.gov.au - Quote eCat# 147423</strong>

  • This web service delivers metadata for onshore active and passive seismic surveys conducted across the Australian continent by Geoscience Australia and its collaborative partners. For active seismic this metadata includes survey header data, line location and positional information, and the energy source type and parameters used to acquire the seismic line data. For passive seismic this metadata includes information about station name and location, start and end dates, operators and instruments. The metadata are maintained in Geoscience Australia's onshore active seismic and passive seismic database, which is being added to as new surveys are undertaken. Links to datasets, reports and other publications for the seismic surveys are provided in the metadata.

  • This report presents a summary of the groundwater hydrochemistry data release from the Alice Springs project conducted as part of Exploring for the Future (EFTF). This data release records the groundwater sample collection methods and hydrochemistry and isotope data from monitoring bores in the Alice Springs project area, Northern Territory (NT). The Alice Springs project is a collaborative study between Geoscience Australia and the NT Government. Hydrochemistry and isotope data were collected from existing and newly drilled bores in the Alice Springs area.

  • The Mineral Potential Mapper (MPM) project represents a significant step forward in identifying new mineral provinces in Australia. The project demonstrated that the apparent under-representation of giant Ni Cu-PGE sulfide resources in Australia was a consequence of concealment of mineral deposits by sediments, basins and regolith (cover) which has hindered exploration success, rather than a lack of geological endowment. The project focused on the identification of prospective regions considered worthy of more detailed work (by exploration companies). The availability of new digital datasets at continental scale enabled the work which predicted a high potential for Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide deposits in a wide range of geological regions across Australia. The project delivered the following outputs: – a technical report providing the first continental-scale assessment of Ni-Cu-PGE mineral potential of Australia applying knowledge-driven geographic information system (GIS)-based prospectivity analysis methods – a series of Geodatabase digital maps (included in the report) – primary digital data and programming script used in the GIS analysis – a workshop delivered in Perth to industry on the 12 June 2016 – a world first National mineral potential map for Ni Cu-PGE sulfide deposits. The MPM materials have generated considerable industry interest. Chalice Mining Limited (Chalice) (formerly Chalice Gold Mines Limited) notes the MPM “… provided valuable input into Chalice’s regional targeting, particularly when applied to frontier areas” (and that) “… recent success at Julimar validates the work by Geoscience Australia (GA) and shows the impact that pre-competitive data can have when applied to greenfields exploration.” Chalice’s Julimar discovery is the world’s largest deposit of its type discovered in 20 years and one of four Tier one deposits discovered in the world in the last five years. It has spurred a significant uptake in tenements by explorers across a green field region and further significant finds are likely. The project has also generated considerable international government interest, sparking the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative. The United States of America and Canada are both applying similar innovative mineral systems-based assessment methodologies to undertake precompetitive prospectivity mapping at a national scale. Given the impact of the MPM project will only be fully appreciated with the realisation of new mines, ACIL Allen has considered two hypothetical mine development scenarios: development of the Gonneville deposit based on Chalice’s (Australian Securities Exchange) ASX report of 8 July 2022, and a second case with an expansion of the Gonneville deposit (to 500Mt), coupled with a more spectacular discovery (double the size of the Gonneville deposit). Both success case scenarios were modelled using a conservative set of assumptions drawn from Chalice’s ASX reporting, prevailing market figures and industry norms. Based on those assumptions, ACIL Allen estimates that the development scenarios could generate an overall benefit to the Australian economy of between $3.48 billion and $4.57 billion and between $1.21 billion and $1.56 billion in net benefits to the Commonwealth in terms of taxation. GA’s investment in the project ($3.0 million) enabled the creation of these benefits. Indeed, every dollar invested in this project by the Commonwealth through GA could generate between $1,176 and $1,546 in additional benefits to the economy. The estimated benefit-cost ratio (BCR) for the Commonwealth Government is between 409 and 526 for the ‘success cases’. This is a substantial step up from the initial assessment conduct 12 months ago prior to the availability of resource figures for the Gonneville deposit (with a small and a large mine delivering an overall benefit of between $441 million and $869 million, with a BCR between 65 and 127).

  • It is generally accepted that the near surface search space for mineral deposits in Australia and elsewhere in the world has been well explored and the frontier of exploration lies beneath post-mineralisation cover. The Exploring for the Future program aims to unlock this new search space in northern Australia and parts of southern Australia by reducing the technical risk of mineral exploration through the provision of innovative pre-competitive data and information. The first step to de-risk undercover exploration is to simply define the depth to prospective rocks as cover-thickness places first order constraints on the economic search space. With this aim in mind we present a preliminary model of the depth to pre-Neoproterozoic rocks between Tennant Creek and Mt Isa, an area of focused integrated studies of the Exploring for the Future program. This work aims to compliment recent and ongoing mineral potential assessments in this region, which suggest covered pre-Neoproterozoic rocks are prospective for iron oxide-copper-gold and sediment hosted base metal mineral deposits. Our model utilises a dasets of over eight four thousand point estimates of the depth to pre- Neoproterozoic strata from boreholes, reflection seismic profile interpretations and depth to magnetic top estimates mostly sourced from the new Estimates of Geological and Geophysical Surfaces database supplemented by the distribution of pre-Neoproterozoic strata outcrops. These constraints were objectively queried based on their reliability, subsampled at 0.05 degrees and gridded using an adjustable tension continuous curvature-surfacing algorithm. The result shows Palaeozoic cover-thickness generally increases away from outcrops with a notable exception east of Tennant Creek where cover-thickness is typically less than 250 m thick. Fortuitously, this region of shallow cover termed the East Tennant Ridge corresponds with a region recently assess to have potential to host iron oxide-copper-gold mineralisation.

  • In October 2020 the Exploring for the Future program held a series of workshops to seek input and feedback on the plans for the second phase of the program. This presentation was used in the open workshops held with industry stakeholders.

  • This Record documents the efforts of the Geological Survey of Victoria (GSV) and Geoscience Australia (GA) in compiling a geochronology (age) compilation for Victoria, describing both the dataset itself and the process by which it is incorporated into the continental-scale Isotopic Atlas of Australia. The Isotopic Atlas draws together age and isotopic data from across the country and provides visualisations and tools to enable non-experts to extract maximum value from these datasets. Data is added to the Isotopic Atlas in a staged approach with priorities determined by GA- and partner-driven focus regions and research questions. This dataset, which was primarily compiled by GSV and has been supplemented with data compiled by GA during the 2013–2017 Stavely Project, is a foundation for the second phase of the Exploring for the Future initiative over 2020–2024, particularly the Darling-Curnamona-Delamerian Project.

  • This report presents a summary of the groundwater hydrochemistry data release from the Western Davenport project conducted as part of Exploring for the Future (EFTF). This data release records the groundwater sample collection methods and hydrochemistry and isotope data from monitoring bores in the Western Davenport project area, Northern Territory (NT). The Western Davenport project is a collaborative study between Geoscience Australia and the NT Government. Hydrochemistry and isotope data were collected from existing and newly drilled bores in the Western Davenport area.

  • The Western Davenport region has been identified as an area of interest for future agricultural development. However, realisation of this potential depends on access to a reliable supply of groundwater, underpinned by rigorous geological and groundwater information. A three-dimensional stratigraphic model has been created for the Western Davenport area of the Southern Stuart Corridor project under the Exploring for the Future program. Our interpretation integrates airborne electromagnetic data with historical drillhole and outcrop data to improve geological and hydrogeological understanding. Results show that stratigraphies of the Wiso and Georgina basins are equivalent and laterally continuous in this area. This enables a more complete hydrostratigraphy to be defined and underpins improved hydrogeological conceptualisation. New hydrochemical data support the conceptual model that the aquifers of the Wiso and Georgina basins are interconnected at a regional scale. The initial assessment of water quality indicates that groundwater may support further agricultural development. Analysis of new water chemistry data has improved understanding of groundwater processes and potential areas of recharge. This work will inform management decisions to enhance the economic and social opportunities in the Western Davenport area, while protecting the environmental and cultural value of water resources. <b>Citation:</b> Northey, J.E., Clark, A.D., Smith, M.L. and Hostetler, S., 2020. Delineation of geology and groundwater resources in a frontier region: Western Davenport, Northern Territory. In: Czarnota, K., Roach, I., Abbott, S., Haynes, M., Kositcin, N., Ray, A. and Slatter, E. (eds.) Exploring for the Future: Extended Abstracts, Geoscience Australia, Canberra, 1–4.

  • The Exploring for the Future program Showcase 2022 was held on 8-10 August 2022. Day 1 (8th August) included a talk on: - Exploring for the Future - The value of precompetitive geoscience - Dr Andrew Heap Showcase Day 1 https://youtu.be/M9jC_TyovCc