New laboratory to support new era of Earth sciences
Geoscience Australia has officially opened its new modern laboratory facilities, further strengthening the Government’s long-standing commitment to the sustainable development of Australia’s resources and a low emissions future.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King opened the new laboratory today, marking a new era for Australia’s Earth sciences.
“It’s really inspiring to see where the science that is supporting Australia’s future begins,” Minister King said.
“This new modern laboratory will ensure decisions by government, industry and the community regarding the sustainable development of Australia’s resources, including supporting our transition to a low emissions future, will be underpinned by high quality geoscience.
“Global demand for resources like critical minerals needed for electric vehicles and battery technologies is increasing as the world moves to decarbonise, and Australia has remarkable potential to meet this demand.”
The laboratory will have the capability to analyse organic samples to explain more about natural gases like hydrogen and helium deep below the Earth, which are essential ingredients in the journey to net zero.
“Our world-class mining industry is leading the way in finding the next big discovery – and the data and expertise of Geoscience Australia is helping guide their efforts,” Minister King said.
The new investment brings Geoscience Australia’s labs up to modern standards and replaces those which have been in use since 1998.
The old laboratory analysed tens of thousands of samples from across the country, which helped build a foundational understanding of Australia’s geology. This work will be further enhanced in the new facility, building on its reputation as an essential provider of high-quality geoscience data and information.
“Data from the Geoscience Australia laboratory is the foundation for evidence-based decision making across government, industry and the community on how to best leverage Australia’s abundant available resources,” Minister King said.
In addition to the new laboratory, Geoscience Australia will also establish a mobile laboratory under the $225 million Exploring for the Future program to support the search for minerals, energy and groundwater.
The mobile laboratory will host new equipment, with portable analytical instruments using state-of-the-art electronics pioneered by NASA’s robot rovers on Mars – providing direct support to scientists out in the field and educating communities on the value of earth science in the day-to-day lives of Australians for a sustainable future.
Data analysed by Geoscience Australia’s laboratories is made publicly available online through the Exploring for the Future portal.