Potential new mineral and groundwater resources in Queensland and the Northern Territory have been revealed by results of the world's largest airborne electromagnetic survey, released Tuesday.
The new geoscience data - collected by Geoscience Australia's Exploring for the Future program, in partnership with the Northern Territory and Queensland Geological Surveys - were released at the Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar in Alice Springs Tuesday March 19.
The "AusAEM" survey is an airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey of a large region of northern Australia, using a broad line spacing of 20 km.
The AEM technique enables mapping of the subsurface electrical conductivity of rocks, sediments and waters, to depths of up to several hundred metres.
A total of 60,000 line kilometres were acquired in the AusAEM Survey NT-QLD which was completed between the 2017 and 2018 field season.
AEM uses aircraft-mounted equipment to map the electrical conductivity below the Earth's surface to a depth of several hundred metres.
This provides a detailed 3D picture - similar to a CT scan - used to map potential resources beneath the Earth's surface in the prospective area between Mount Isa and Tennant Creek.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said the survey indicated potential for new mineral deposits including gold, copper, nickel, lead, zinc and manganese, as well as critical minerals such as cobalt, platinum-group elements and rare-earth elements.
"The survey provides new insights into mineral-rich areas in Northern Australia that have not been extensively explored previously," Minister Canavan said.
"When integrated with other datasets such as gravity, magnetic and radiometric maps of Australia, the AEM can reveal potential broad-scale groundwater resources to support communities, industries and the environment.
Minister Canavan said there is huge interest in the data with 13 exploration companies already signed up to participate in infill flying during the next survey, which will be acquired across an equally large area of the west of the Northern Territory and into Western Australia.
- courtesy North West Star, Mount Isa.
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