South Australia seeks Gawler’s hidden deposits

The South Australian Government and Unearthed Solutions are set to launch a global exploration competition to help unlock new targets in the Gawler region.

The competition, called ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge, is open to geologists, data scientists and innovators around the world.

South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the worldwide competition threw an international spotlight on the state’s huge mineral resource opportunities and the quality data compiled by the world recognised Geological Survey of South Australia.

Entrants will have five months to search through open data sets including rock, soil and topography to produce exploration targets.

“The South Australian Government is fully committed to maximising the immense benefits for our state which exist within the Gawler Craton region, where we have just completed the world’s largest airborne geophysical survey, offering exciting new datasets for innovators and industry alike,” van Holst Pellekaan said.

“We intend to harness local and international expertise, innovation and technology for the benefit of our state’s regional development and economy as a whole.”

Unearthed Solutions director Justin Strharsky said South Australia was incredibly endowed with resources in a world where mineral and metal deposits are becoming increasingly difficult to find.

“Unearthed Solutions is the largest community of innovators helping the resources sector dig deeper, we connect big players in the sector, to a community with the digital skills they need to solve big challenges,” he said.

“Using the Department for Energy and Mining’s wealth of historical records, data, and research, the competition offers the chance to combine geological expertise with new mathematical, machine learning and artificial intelligence to accelerate mineral discovery in the mineral rich Gawler Craton.”

South Australia is a major contributor to Australia’s mineral exports, and the Gawler Craton hosts one of the world’s largest copper deposits, the BHP-operated Olympic Dam mine.

The challenge will launch next month and features a $250,000 prize pool.

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