Prospect Awards Finalists 2014: Explorer of the Year

Exploration Toolkit

Finalists in the Explorer of the Year category have been revealed.

Resolve Coal

For its work on the Hyde Park Coal Project, Resolve Coal has been nominated as the Explorer of the Year.

According to the miner the find resulted from a target generation exercise that was driven by some simple questions, for example; what happens to basin architecture at a node of rapid strike change.

 It recognised an area within the Galilee Basin that may have lower strip ratios, indicated by structural analysis of the eastern margin of the basin. 

Total Magnetic Intensity data also pointed to a deeply buried granite, a potential source of higher heat flow and possibly higher ranked coal endowment. 

Government drilling data from the 1970s and company reportage through the QLD DNRM on line systems were pivotal in this. 

Results from drilling initiated in July of 2013 have been excellent. 

To date resolve have pushed the basin margin substantially to the east, and estimated a JORC (2012) compliant Indicated resource of 364Mt, and an Inferred resource of 1.30Bt, at raw strip ratios of between three and ten. 

Coal rank has proven to be higher than other Galilee projects, resulting in attractive potential revenues from higher energy thermal coal. 

Most excitingly, a new suite of exploration targets are now identified along the Galilee Basin's eastern margin, and the project adds to the growing momentum toward development in one of the world's premier new energy basins.


The CSIRO has been recognised for its new developments in aiding cost effective exploration via its new mineral fingerprinting technology.

A recent CSIRO study found that magnesium, aluminium, titanium, vanadium, chromium, manganese, cobalt, nickel, zinc, gallium and tin concentrations display systematic variations in magnetite from barren and mineralised rocks from different types of mineral deposits. 

In addition, the occurrence, abundance and composition of mineral inclusions in magnetite can also be a useful guide for exploration. For example, sulphide inclusions in magnetite are a characteristic feature for hydrothermal magnetite from sulphidic hydrothermal mineral deposits such as skarn or porphyry systems.

The CSIRO has found that a combination of multi-element statistics and element ratio plots can reliably identify magnetite from different types of mineral deposits and discriminate hydrothermal from igneous magnetite. 

The statistical data exploration it has developed is becoming an increasingly invaluable tool to reveal trends and patterns in large data sets. 

Explorers can use principle component or factor analysis and discrimination measures to determine underlying trends and multi-element inter-relationships that are often obscured in standard geochemical data processing and visualisation.

The composition and mineral inclusion inventory of magnetite is a cost-effective and reliable tool that can help explorers to target prospective areas in remote and deeply covered terranes.

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