Geoscience Australia’s Mineral Potential Mapper tool has won the Engaging with the Edge category at the 2016 Public Sector Innovation Awards.
The awards were announced by the new minister for Industry, Innovation, and Science, Greg Hunt, and recognise the best examples of innovations inside the Australian Government.
The device is a computer-based decision support tool that helps identify prospective areas of new deposits of copper, nickel, and the platinum-group elements (PGEs).
Study leader Dr. Roger Skirrow said the discovery of major new resources of base and precious metals has slowed over the pat decade in Australia, with one of the major barriers being large blankets of sediments that conceal the deposits.
“Our modelling of mineral potential overcomes this through the integration of new geoscientific datasets that map the geological features of nickel ore-forming systems beneath the blanket of sediments to depths of 100 kilometres or more,” he said.
The results provide the exploration industry with new target regions where further data analysis can focus on identifying new mineral deposits.
This study is the first of its kind in Australia, and is also understood to be a world-first in attempting it at a continental scale.