A new generation of exploration equipment is required to tap into more difficult terrain in Australia’s mining regions, according to the CSIRO.
The CSIRO’s Minerals Down Under National Research Flagship is working on new ways to tap into deeper mineral reserves as those close to the surface dry up and mining projects are forced to drill deeper.
CSIRO geologist, Warren Potma, said Australia has become more difficult to explore as surface resources have already been well developed.
He said minerals that lie more than 100 metres from the surface are often masked from a layer of sand and sediment, which makes it difficult to tap into untouched resources.
“The next generation challenge is seeing through this cover and exploring below ground where we can’t currently see with the technologies that we have,” he said.
Potma is calling for new equipment to access hard-to-reach areas and tap into deeper resources.
Industry experts say new equipment will “pave the way for the future” and help the Australian mining industry to remain competitive in the current economic climate.
The CSIRO is currently working on a range of projects to improve exploration techniques, such as applying numerical modelling to solve exploration industry problems.