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A collaboration set to revolutionise exploration

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The Mineral Systems Drilling Program (MSDP) is a new and innovative PACE Frontiers program that forms part of the South Australian Government’s approach to unlock the full potential of South Australia’s resources.

The MSDP focused on unlocking new understanding of mineral systems under cover in the northern Eyre Peninsula and incorporated trials of new technologies being developed by the Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC) for more effective mineral exploration beneath cover. This collaborative drill program, managed by Geological Survey of South Australia, has returned key outcomes for South Australia.

About the program

Program highlights

  • ~8000 m drilling program

    Drill program of 14 cored holes for ~8000 m from July 2015 to April 2016 involving the Geological Survey of South Australia, DET CRC, two mineral exploration companies, five supplier companies and three research organisations.

  • Leveraged $8m from $2.5m Government funding

    The MSDP has demonstrated an effective model for Government, exploration industry, research organisation and service sector collaboration and in doing so leveraged a $2.5m cash SA Government funded program into an ~$8m cash and in-kind program using in excess of 100 South Australian-based suppliers.

  • Supported transformational technologies

    Facilitated the deployment of a range of DET CRC technology throughout the program that has sped up product development towards commercialisation into the service sector. These technologies address the challenge of exploring beneath cover which is critical for future discovery of Tier 1 ore deposits in SA.

  • New exploration model

    Uncovered a new exploration model for the northern Eyre Peninsula following the discovery of epithermal textures and alteration within demagnetised re-activated structures within the upper Gawler Range Volcanics (GRV). This model opens up new areas of the State to exploration.

  • Improving exploration focus

    Identified Pb-ZnĀ±Ag mineralisation associated with: magnetite-skarn at the base of the Hutchinson Group; proximal to the margin of the GRV within altered volcaniclastic units towards the base of the GRV. Both mineralisation styles can form the focus of further exploration in the region.

  • 3D understanding

    A new 3D model of the southern margin of the GRV was developed including key geological surfaces and fault architecture constrained by data collected during the MSDP. The model provides the basis for developing a regional mineral system understanding by mapping and interrogating relationships to known mineral occurrences, major structures and anomalism in geophysical and geochemical datasets.

  • Depth to basement constraints

    Provided new constraints on the thickness of the GRV through deep drilling, mapping and several targeted seismic sections.

  • Improved understanding of the ~1.6 Ga event

    Provided an unprecedented degree of characterisation of the GRV through extensive new geochemistry, mineralogy, petrophysics and geochronology. This includes improved definition of the lower GRV and recognition of extensive basaltic units in the Cu-rich Olympic Domain.

  • Improved understanding of the ~1.6 Ga event

    Shown that fluid-flow around the margin of the GRV was focused within volcaniclastic units as well as structures, and this may be an alternative target for mineralisation, in addition to the base of GRV.

  • Improved understanding of the ~1.6 Ga event

    New geochronology enabling a more detailed understanding of the timing of magmatism, alteration and mineralisation.

  • New maps

    A series of special edition new surface geology and regolith map products based around the MSDP drill sites will be released as part of a complementary GSSA program.

Program partners

DSD logo
DET CRC logo
PACE logo
Kingston Resources logo
Minotaur Exploration logo

For more information, contact:

Adrian Fabris
Senior Geologist
+61 8 8429 2556