New data to reveal resources potential of southern Australia

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt says new data released today from the Exploring for the Future program will provide an unprecedented snapshot of the mineral, energy and groundwater potential of south-eastern Australia.

Geoscience Australia recently conducted a large airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey across parts of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia under the $225 million Exploring for the Future program.

“The survey mapped geology to a depth of 300 metres beneath the Earth’s surface by measuring its capacity to conduct electricity - similar to running a metal detector across a beach,” Minister Pitt said.

“This data will give an indication of whether groundwater, minerals or energy resources are present across more than 600,000 square kilometres of south-eastern Australia – from Peterborough to Wilcannia, and from Tibooburra to Warrnambool.”

This is the first major dataset to be released from the Exploring for the Future program’s work in southern Australia. From 2016 to 2020, the program mapped more than 3 million square kilometres of northern Australia.

"Geoscience Australia will now analyse results of the survey but industry, with the expertise to interpret the published data, can start using it now to find new opportunities for exploration,” Minister Pitt said.

"The Exploring for the Future program is putting rich and valuable data in the hands of industry to help them plan their future exploration programs and make investment decisions,” Minister Pitt said.

“The program is collecting geological data across southern Australia to uncover exciting new mineral deposits to supply Australia’s future critical mineral resources needs, as well as find new sources of groundwater to support agricultural and pastoral communities.

“AEM surveys have played a critical role in building a picture of the resource potential of northern Australia. 

“Three years ago, the East Tennant to Mt Isa region was open ground. Today there are more than 30 companies investigating the area, with over 160,000 square kilometres of new tenements staked out.

“The delivery of these datasets is a key step on the road to creating long-term jobs in our resources industry."

Discover the AusAEM data now through the Exploring for the Future Data Discovery Portal:

Media contact: Minister Pitt's office 02 6277 7180