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Copper strategy theme 1: lifting the cover for South Australia to host future exploration discoveries

Providing world-class geoscience data and information as a foundation for competitive attraction of mineral exploration investment for greater quantity and quality of exploration

Theme 1 builds on the previous achievements of the highly successful PACE initiative and maintains South Australia’s position as an international leader for innovative exploration partnerships and
geoscience data and information delivery; a reputation that has been enhanced with the new South Australia Drill Core Reference Library at Tonsley, opened in February 2016.

The $20 million PACE Copper initiative, an early action of the copper strategy, was launched on 30 November 2015 by the Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis.

PACE Copper is focused on capturing pre-competitive data with the aim of bringing forward mineral discoveries in the state, playing a vital role in driving the exploration investment and discovery of the new new high-quality resources required to meet South Australia's copper production goal of one million tonnes a year by 2030.

The aim of PACE Copper is to find the next major copper resource in South Australia. PACE Copper will deliver:

  • the world's largest high-resolution airborne geophysical and terrain imaging program
  • a 'rebirth' of exploration in the Gawler Craton
  • industry–government collaborative drilling on new targets and domains
  • world-class data and interpretation that will open up an untouched mineral province in the state's far west

PACE Copper Programs

Next Generation Copper Discovery Program

Geophysics project 

Gawler Craton Airborne Survey

World's largest, high-resolution airborne geophysical and terrain imaging program as part of a 'regeneration' of exploration in the Gawler Craton.

GCAS program deliverable: 3D modelGCAS program deliverable: MESA Journal articleGCAS program deliverable: report bookGCAS program deliverable: dataGCAS program deliverable: map

Geophysics project

Olympic Domain Airborne Electromagnetics

Mapping cover across the Olympic Domain south of Olympic Dam using airborne electromagnetics to tie in with the Olympic Domain magnetotellurics project.

ODAE project deliverable - 3D modelODAE project deliverable - MESA journal articleODAE project deliverable - report bookODAE program deliverable - data

Geophysics project

Olympic Domain Magnetotellurics

Mapping beneath the Olympic Domain to characterise the mineral systems along the eastern margin of the Gawler Craton.

ODM project deliverable: 3D modelODM project deliverable: MESA Journal articleODM project deliverable: report bookODM project deliverable: data
PACE Copper program - drilling 

Mineral Systems Drilling Extension

Unlocking new understanding of mineral systems in the northern Eyre Peninsula and trial new technologies for more effective mineral exploration through cover.

MSDE project deliverable: 3D modelMSDE project deliverable: MESA Journal articleMSDE project deliverable: report bookMSDE project deliverable: data
PACE Copper program activity: modelling 

3D Data Integration Modelling

Three-dimensional geophysical model defining the geological setting of whole of South Australia to help explorers make more informed exploration decisions and bring forward new mineral discoveries.

3D DIM project deliverable: 3D model 3D DIM project deliverable: MESA journal article3D DIM project deliverable: report book
PACE Copper program activity: Geophysics 

Depth to basement mapping

Investigate new ways of processing geophysical data to see through cover and better understand the depth to the basement geology.

DBM project deliverable: 3D model DBM project deliverable: MESA journal articleDBM project deliverable: report book

PACE Discovery Drilling 2016

PACE Copper program - drilling

PACE Discovery Drilling 2016

Collaborative program of direct government investment in company exploration programs to bring forward new mineral discoveries.

PDD project deliverable: MESA journal articlePDD project deliverable: report bookPDD project deliverable: data

Far West Discovery Program

PACE Copper activity: geophysics 

Coompana Gravity

Detailed regional gravity survey to help determine the structure, geology and prospectivity of the basement geology beneath the Nullarbor Plains.

CG project deliverable: 3D modelCoompana Gravity data release informationCG project deliverable: map

PACE Copper program activity: drilling

Coompana Drilling

Regional stratigraphic drilling program to obtain new core samples from the greenfield frontier basement beneath the covered Nullarbor Plains

CD project deliverable: MESA Journal articleCD project deliverable: report bookCD project deliverable: data

PACE Copper activity: geophysics

Geophysical Cover Characterisations

Trialling new and existing geophysical techniques to determine depth to basement and cover types in the covered far west of South Australia.

GCC project deliverable: MESA journal articleGCC project deliverable: report bookGCC project deliverable: data

PACE Copper activity: geophysics

Fowler Domain Airborne Electromagnetics

Regional 5 km spaced Airborne Electromagnetic survey to map cover types and thickness over the prospective Fowler and western Christie Domains of the western Gawler Craton.

FDAE project deliverable: 3D modelFDAE project deliverable: MESA journal articleFDAE project deliverable: data
PACE Copper activity: geochemistry 

Far West Geochemistry

Regional geochemical and biogeochemical surveys to provide a new generation of mineral exploration targets in covered terrain.

FWG project deliverable: MESA journal articleFWG project deliverable: report bookFWG project deliverable: data

Far North Discovery Program

PACE Copper activity: geophysics

AusLAMP Deep Crustal Magnetotellurics

Finalise the coverage of the AusLAMP grid across the state to map the entire solid crust and mantle.
ADCM project deliverable: 3D modelADCM project deliverable: MESA journal articleADCM project deliverable: report bookADCM project deliverable: data