A major new survey carried out under the Government’s Onshore Energy Security program indicates the potential for further significant discoveries of energy and mineral resources, particularly in South Australia.
Welcoming the release of the survey, Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said the work makes an important contribution to the critical issue of ensuring our energy security.
“The survey and subsequent processing and interpretation are part of a collaborative project between Geoscience Australia, Primary Industry and Resources South Australia, AuScope and the Northern Territory Geological Survey,” Minister Ferguson said.
“Geoscience Australia has collected 634 kilometres of seismic and other data across northern South Australia and the southern Northern Territory, providing images of the geology deep beneath the earth surface.
“The area surveyed was remote and the technologies used were important in uncovering data that had previously been inaccessible due to sediments, including desert sands that cover most of the rocks which are considered to have potential for either energy or mineral resources.
“The survey also crossed large sedimentary basins which have the potential for a range of petroleum and hydrocarbon resources.
“We now have the first regional-scale images of the deep crust located in this area.
“This is further evidence of the value of Geoscience Australia’s expertise in opening the way for mineral and energy exploration.”
The datasets, including new Magnetotelluric data measuring the electrical conductivity at depth, when combined with geochemical and geochronological data, can be used to identify major geological features in the region.
Interpretation of this data has shown links with, and geological similarities to existing economic resources, including the rich Olympic Dam uranium-copper-gold deposit and the Prominent Hill copper-gold deposit.
The results from the survey and complementary geological studies were presented to the exploration and mining industry at a workshop in Adelaide yesterday. The datasets and associated report are available on Geoscience Australia’s website at www.ga.gov.au