A new airborne electromagnetic survey (AEM) conducted by Geoscience Australia has revealed the potential for new mineral deposits and groundwater resources between Tennant Creek and Mount Isa that have not been extensively explored.
The world’s largest survey was conducted as part of the federal government’s Exploring for the Future program, in partnership with the Northern Territory and Queensland geological surveys to map potential mineral deposits.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said that the survey indicated the potential for new mineral deposits including gold, copper, nickel, lead, zinc and manganese, in addition to critical minerals such as cobalt, platinum-group elements and rare-earth elements.
Canavan said: “The survey containing 60,000 line kilometres of data provides new insights into mineral-rich areas in Northern Australia that have not been extensively explored previously.”
The surveys map the electrical conductivity below the Earth’s surface using aircraft-mounted equipment to get a detailed 3D picture that can be used to map potential mineral deposits in the prospective area between Tennant Creek and Mt Isa.
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The AEM, when integrated with other datasets such as gravity, magnetic and radiometric maps of Australia, can reveal potential broad-scale groundwater resources to support industries and the environment.
Following the release of the data, 13 exploration companies already signed up to participate in infill flying during the next survey.
The first release from the survey was announced in June last year at the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies Convention.