3D mapping to give WA gold industry a life extension

The WA Government has launched a multi-million initiative to extend the life of major mines, as well as reveal the next big deposits.

The CSIRO, along with key gold industry companies will partner in the $1.685 million quest, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said.

Launching Pathways To High-Grade Ore: 3D Gradient Mapping Of Mineral Systems at Kalgoorlie-Boulder's historic Kanowna Belle gold mine, Marmion said the12-month research project had a significant upside for mining industry jobs.

"This is an ideal time to build on current gold sector activity, by using our world-leading science to target known gold-rich zones," Marmion said.

"Mining companies are helping sponsor the project because prolonging the life of proven operations is very cost-effective, especially when it comes to job security."

The Pathways project will analyse the earth's crust to develop 3D modelling of gold-bearing systems centred on important Eastern Goldfields geological faults, which host major existing and potential mine sites.

The State Government's Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) is contributing $395,000, the main cash component of the project.  Five gold producers are also contributing, with Kanowna Belle owner Northern Star Resources the major industry sponsor.

"These 3D models will guide exploration and mine expansion at sponsors' sites," Marmion said.

Dr John Walshe and Dr Adam Bath of the CSIRO's Mineral Resources Flagship will lead the research, building on their four previous Goldfields projects, which also received State Government funding.

"The Pathways project will start immediately and highlights the State Government's commitment to WA business and employment," Marmion said.

"Extending gold discoveries in the legendary Yilgarn Craton will help sustain our vital Goldfields communities."

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