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The South Australian government is offering an AUD250,000 ($165,000) prize pool in a crowdsourcing competition to uncover more mineral reserves in the resource-rich Gawler region.

ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge is being run by the South Australian Government in conjunction with mining entrepreneur group Unearthed Solutions. The project is calling on the world’s geologists, data scientists and innovators to help unlock the exploration potential of the region.

Launching in March and running until the end of July, the challenge invites data specialists to examine open-file datasets to uncover mineral discoveries in the Gawler Craton, an area rich in copper, gold, uranium, zinc and iron ore.

Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said: “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.

“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 said the competition combines geological expertise with new machine learning and artificial intelligence technology to increase the number of potential drill targets in the region.

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“In a world where mineral and metal deposits are becoming increasingly difficult to find, South Australia is incredibly endowed with resources,” Unearthed Solutions Director Justin Strharsky 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.”

All mineral targets generated during the competition will be made publicly available to encourage companies to undertake exploration of new deposits in the region.