An airborne electromagnetic survey undertaken above central New South Wales has returned positive results on the prospect of hidden water and resources below the surface.
More than 19,000 square kilometres were surveyed, according to NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Resources John Barilaro, revealing untapped resources up to 400 metres deep into the earth.
Barilaro said the exciting discovery would be followed up with further surveys across the Cobar-Nyngan area, as well as at Mundi near Broken hill in April.
“This cutting-edge technology has delivered readings of potential deposits of minerals including gold, copper and zinc throughout the Central West and what could be untapped groundwater,” Barilaro said.
“We have received positive feedback from the mining industry about the quality of the survey data, with several companies using the information to carry out licensed exploration programs and even a new discovery of mineralisation which was drilled on the basis of the results.
“We can now consider using the highly-technical data as part of a drilling program to confirm if we have found groundwater, what is in it, as well as how best to access it.”
The exploration venture is part of the National Drilling Initiative (NDI) proposed by MinEx CRC, with $16 million committed over 10 years by the Geological Survey of NSW (GSNSW).
The NDI is led by Geoscience Australia’s Anthony Budd, who outlined the point of the initiative.
“The NDI vision is to drill multiple holes in a region to map the regional geology and architecture, and to find the potential for mineral systems in 3D,” Budd said.
“It’s intended that the NDI will take advantage of new low-cost coiled tubing drilling technology.”
Barilaro said the funding and interest in one of Australia’s vital sectors, mineral resources, will work to attract further investment for the economy.
“Mining is critical to the NSW economy, it is responsible for half of our state’s export revenue and despite COVID-19 and other challenges, the sector has remained resilient, continuing to provide direct employment while indirectly supporting local businesses,” Barilaro said.
“Our state is rich with high-tech metals and critical mineral resources and we are on a mission to make NSW the number one destination for investment in mining in Australia.”