SA Government pulls a crowd to unearth mineral deposits

SA Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan. Image: Unearthed.

The South Australian Government is launching an open data competition that it hopes will lead to the discovery of the next Olympic Dam or Carrapateena deposit.

ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge will be the first crowdsourced open data competition in the world and will be partnered with open innovation platform Unearthed.

Geologists and data scientists from around the world are being called on to use records, data and research from the Geological Survey of SA, as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase the number of potential drill targets across central South Australia.

State Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the competition not only had the potential to generate new exploration models and ideas for targeting, but it would also drive investment and jobs in SA’s resources sector.

“Our existing inventory of discoveries suggest there are major prospects and many other deposit styles and commodities to be identified,” van Holst Pellekaan said.

“This will only serve to bring those internationally significant discoveries forward.

“ExploreSA is an example of the bold and progressive thinking required to assist industry in accelerating the state’s annual economic growth rate to 3 per cent.”

All targets generated from the competition, including winners of the $250,000 prize pool, will be publicly shared to increase innovation and understanding in the resources industry by enabling access to data science and modern geoscience approaches.

Unearthed industry lead – crowdsourcing Holly Bridgwater said ExploreSA was aiming to leverage data science to its full potential at a time when significant new discoveries are becoming harder to find.

“This exciting crowdsourcing competition will attract a global community of innovators, some whom won’t have worked in the mining industry before,” Bridgwater said.

“We can’t wait to see how they apply their diverse skills and fresh ideas to mineral exploration to accelerate discovery in South Australia.”

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