The Exploring the Future Program program was launched in 2016 to explore Australia’s resource potential and increase investment, with $125 million in Australian Government funding provided in June.
The Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt announced in August that the two resource potential corridors will be the focus of the extra funding.
Chief of the Minerals, Energy and Groundwater division at Geoscience Australia Dr Andrew Heap said the two corridors have a high chance of delivering new resource discoveries.
“We already know the regional geology of these two corridors suggests they have several areas with high prospectivity for new resource discoveries,” Heap said. “Based on pre-existing data and information, even at this early stage, we think that both corridors have potential for new discoveries of groundwater, conventional and unconventional oil and gas, and a wide range of minerals, including gold, base metals and critical minerals.
“Both corridors run for thousands of kilometres and together cross through five states and the Northern Territory. Over the next four years we will partner with these jurisdictions on regional-scale projects that will help to fill in the data and knowledge gaps of where new resources are located.”
Geoscience Australia has started its desktop research to determine where exploration in the corridors will be undertaken.
“Our first step is to work out, in detail, what is already known about prospective areas within the corridors and use that information to identify what further data is needed to better understand the prospectivity and resource potential,” Heap said.
“From this desktop research, we will work with our state and territory counterparts to identify regional-scale projects with the best chance of discovering new energy, mineral and groundwater resources.
“While it is too early to say exactly when we will be able to make the data and information we collect during the expanded program publicly available, we are committed to making it available and easily accessible to sectors such as mining exploration, resource management and agriculture throughout the next four years.”
Fieldwork is expected to commence in the 2020-21 financial year.