The Federal Government is broadening its horizons in mineral exploration, with critical minerals such as cobalt, gallium and germanium at the top of the list.
In an announcement that comes with the support of the Geological Survey of Western Australia, the Government said it would aim to research areas of the country that have not been explored and will play an important part in ensuring Australia’s metal production and exports remain competitive in a global market.
The exploration opportunity was created under the $225 million ‘Exploring for the Future’ program, which the Government said had the aim of “support[ing] a strong economy, resilient society and sustainable environment for the benefit of Australians through an integrated geoscientific understanding of our mineral, energy and groundwater potential” since its inception in 2016, according to the program’s website.
The exploration will be essential for the world to meet its net-zero emissions targets by 2050 and gaining a deeper understanding of geology is key to Australia’s sustainable developments, according to Federal Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Madeleine King.
“The mineral potential mapping approach integrates decades of Geoscience Australia’s expertise with a wide range of geoscientific datasets to transform big data into predictive power, raising the prospect of more exciting discoveries,” King said.
With 80 per cent of the Australian continent underexplored, Geoscience Australia, a national public sector geoscience organisation, has further national mineral potential assessments planned for the coming months, including for sediment-hosted copper, another essential mineral that will help reach the net-zero targets.
“Investment in precompetitive data through the ‘Exploring for the Future’ program will continue to put a wealth of key information in the hands of governments and other important stakeholders, to better predict where natural resources will be, for the benefit of communities, industry and the environment,” King said.