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20 November 2017: MSDP plays a role in DET CRC success

The DET CRC’s final AGM video was posted this week and underlined the crucial support the MSDP played in demonstrating and advancing several of DET CRC’s technologies. In total, the MSDP and associated trials featured in 5 out of 10, 2016-2017 highlights.

Watch the video


September 2017: New interpretation of Mineral Systems Drilling Program drill core released

Six Mile Hill Drillhole Reports

Detailed lithological logging of three MSDP drillholes in the Six Mile Hill area has provided new insights into the depositional environment and controls on thickness and distribution of the Gawler Range Volcanics in the southeast margin of the Gawler Ranges.

Find out more


September 2017: Mineral Systems Drilling Program – testing & delivering tomorrows mineral discovery technologies

DET CRC technologies

The Mineral Systems Drilling Program provided an opportunity to showcase and test pre-commercial technology being developed within the DET CRC within a supportive real-life exploration program. These technologies are being developed to directly address technical challenges of the minerals industry.

Technology trials incorporated into the MSDP focused on several aspects of reducing the cost of exploration:

  • collect real-time data to assess prospectivity and make decisions that will improve the effectiveness of a drill campaign;
  • accurately monitor drilling parameters to improve penetration rates and reduce bit wear; and
  • deploy low cost seismic surveys to provide constraints on the depth to key surfaces and sub-surface architecture.

All technologies trialled progressed along the Technical Readiness scale. One such example was the Wireless Sub (monitors real-time drilling performance), which following extensive testing during the MSDP, was subsequently licenced by Boart Longyear, the leading global supplier of drilling services, drilling equipment and performance tooling.

Facilitating product development through trials of DET CRC technologies was paramount in making the MSDP so successful and relevant to the wider minerals industry.

Read more about DET CRC technologies trialled during the MSDP


12 September 2017: Mineral Systems Drilling Program report released

Cover of Report Book 2016/00030

A comprehensive review of MSDP results and outcomes have now been compiled. The report not only provides geological insights from the 9 month drilling campaign along the southern Gawler Ranges, but summarises key results of trials of DET CRC technology.

Mineral Systems Drilling Program in the southern Gawler Ranges, South Australia. RB 2016/00030


November 2016: GSSA's southern Gawler Ranges outcrop rock sample collection on display

MSDP outcrop sample collection on display

More than 100 rock samples were collected as hand specimens during GSSA’s geological mapping program that was carried out alongside the MSDP drilling. These samples were exhibited for the first time during the MSDP Open Day in August 2016 and are now compiled in a pictorial catalogue that has been released as a new Report Book.

The rock samples were collected in the three MSDP drilling areas as well as adjacent areas along the southern margin of the Gawler Range Volcanic Province. The samples include various rocks from basement to the GRV including felsic and mafic intrusive rocks of the newly defined Peter Pan Supersuite. The collection includes a wide variety of lower and upper GRV facies such as rhyolites, granites, breccias and volcaniclastics, as well as examples form the Meso- and Neoproterozoic cover and regolith.

This impressive rock collection will be on display at the upcoming Discovery Day on 1st December 2017 at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Interested in attending the Geological Survey of South Australia Discovery Day? Find out more.


11 August 2016: A new map to guide mineral explorers through the regolith of the Southern Gawler Ranges Margin

Regolith map image

The new regolith map of the Southern Gawler Ranges Margin provides a valuable regional overview of the main regolith types and their associated landforms, a general outline of the major areas of bedrock or regolith dominated terrain as well as the occurrence of in-situ versus transported regolith of this emerging mineral province.

It aims to provide a broad-scale framework for guiding geochemical prospecting for a wide range of minerals and materials, as a basis for guiding mineral exploration, and to provide a useful dataset for addressing other land use issues like groundwater.

Find out more


11 August 2016: Next generation of integrated geophysical models

SAGRM gravity image

The South Australian Geophysical Reference Model (SAGRM) is a valuable new research and exploration tool, which enables users to visualise, query and interpret the state’s vast archive of geophysical datasets in a full 3D environment. This is the first time a model of this size, complexity and completeness of geophysical data has been produced anywhere in the world. The model is a significant contribution to the lithospheric architecture theme of the UNCOVER initiative. The SAGRM is designed to be readily updateable and will incorporate new datasets, such as AusLamp, AusArray and the Gawler Craton magnetic survey, as they become available.

More information or download the SAGRM 3D model


16 May 2016: MSDP finds evidence of mineral system

The final phase of the Mineral Systems Drilling Program (MSDP) involved seven holes for a total of 3,127m drilling on the north-western Eyre Peninsula. The holes were intended to test a range of potential precious and base metal mineral systems, comparable to the Paris and Menninnie Dam prospects further east. Drill holes intersected a fascinating suite of rocks inclusive of; alteration zones with low levels of visible base metal sulphide (MSDP10), magnetite-rich skarn with minor pyrite and trace base metal sulphide (MSDP11) and silica and sericite altered metaigneous and metasedimentary rocks with pyrite veining and low levels of visible base metal sulphides (MSDP12) (after Minotaur Exploration Ltd, Quarterly Report Period ended 31 March 2016). These rocks are proving to be very useful in benchmarking the performance of technology developed by the DET CRC including the Lab-at-Rig®, AutoSonde and AutoShuttle in the identification of rock types, alteration zones and subtle signatures of mineralisation in a greenfields exploration setting. We await the results of laboratory assays which will be reported by Minotaur Exploration in due course.

For more information see the DET CRC's latest issue of EXPLORE


5 April 2016: MSDP drilling continues in Mt Double region

Drilling continues in the Mt Double region as the program nears the completion date of 2nd quarter 2016. The MSDP has utilised Investigator Resources Paris camp for recent field operations.

MSDP core layout

Early morning discussions over core layout

Paris camp

Paris camp


March 2016: New GSSA report describes the evolution of the GRV in the Roopena area

Cover of Report Book 2015/00021

The lower Gawler Range Volcanics exposed in the Roopena area provide a rare example of mafic and felsic volcanism synchronous with sedimentation in a lacustrine setting. In the subsurface this volcanic sequence extends northwards to the MSDP Cariewerloo drilling area, and is bound by a N-S-trending fault system which appears to have been active during volcanism.

Report book 2015/00021 ‘Stratigraphy of the lower Gawler Range Volcanics in the Roopena area, northeastern Eyre Peninsula’ contains detailed  petrological descriptions of the Roopena Basalt, Angle Dam Volcanics and Fresh Well Formation, as well as lithological and stratigraphic logs of 25 drill holes in the Roopena area. By identifying sedimentary and volcanic time markers across the basin system, a model for the spatial and temporal evolution of the volcanosedimentary sequence has been constructed which discusses the interactions between volcanism, sedimentation and tectonism.


January 2016: Phase 2 of MSDP complete

Image of drill core sample
Drill core sample of colloform-textured epithermal quartz vein in sericite-hematite (brown areas) altered dacite (178.5m – hole MSDP05). Drill core width is approximately 6.4cm. (courtesy of Minotaur Exploration)
Three deep drill holes for 1952.7m were completed in the Peltabinna region. All three holes targeted de-magnetised fault zones that overlie splays of the Yarlbrinda Shear Zone. One hole identified colloform-textured quartz-pyrite veins within broad and variably intense sericite alteration zones. This style of hydrothermal alteration is consistent with epithermal fluid flow during fault movement.

For more information refer to Minotaur Exploration's Quarterly Report, for the period ending 31 December 2015.


1 December 2015: Curtin University through DET CRC conduct reflection seismic survey in Carriewerloo region

Two short reflection seismic surveys were completed close to two of the MSDP drillholes to investigate cheap methods of identifying basement beneath the Gawler Range Volcanics. The 10 day survey totaled ~7 km and was combined with Vertical Seismic Profiles of MSDP drillholes. Results are expected within the 1st quarter of 2016.


November 2015: DET CRC technology get valuable hours on the clock

The MSDP is being used as a demonstration of technology being developed within the Deep Exploration Technologies CRC. Current deployments have included LAR®, LAR Fluids, Wireless Sub (Gen 1, Gen 2), AutoSonde™ (gamma and recently mag susc). The MSDP has been the catalyst for improvement to all technologies deployed. Research and development within the program will continue through the drill program.


October 2015: GSSA release the results of the re-examination of nearby drillhole, RC 1

Cover of Report Book 2015/00030
The GSSA have released a report book detailing the re-examination of drillhole RC1, as part of current investigations into the stratigraphy of the GRV and underlying Palaeoproterozoic– Archaean basement along the southern margin of the Gawler Ranges.

This report presents a new lithological log of RC 1 based on new observations, and petrological and geochemical analysis of the drill core, with emphasis on distinguishing coherent and fragmental facies within the unnamed felsic volcanic sequence of the lower GRV underlying the Roopena Basalt.


October 2015: MSDP intersects new stratigraphic units of the GRV

Drilling of 2787.8m has been completed (4 holes) with Kingston Resources in the eastern Eyre Peninsula (Carriewerloo area). The program included a key stratigraphic hole of 1116.8m which intersected previously unknown Lower GRV units (mafic and felsic). MSDP01 ended in an altered ignimbritic unit.

The drill program has moved to the western Gawler Ranges in the Peltabinna region with Minotaur Exploration. Drilling along the south-western margin of the Gawler Range Volcanics is forecast to continue until April, 2016.


October 2015: MSDP stage 1 & 2 PEPRs available to download

Download the Mineral Systems Drilling Program stage 1 and 2 Exploration Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation (PEPR) documents.


27 October 2015: Mineral Systems Drilling Program Stage 2 commences

Minotaur Exploration announce the beginning of a 5,000 m diamond drill program, targeting the southwest margin of the Gawler Ranges Volcanic (GRV) province on Minotaur’s tenements. The program will map the hydrothermal and epithermal alteration and mineralisation systems associated with the 1590 Ma Gawler Range Volcanics.

View the Minotaur Exploration ASX Release, issued 27 October 2015


1 August 2015: The Minerals Systems Drilling Program "kicks off" with the first diamond drillhole

Kingston Resources announce the commencement of drilling at their Six Mile Hill Copper-Gold Project.View the Kingston Resources ASX Release, issued 3rd August 2015


25 June 2015: Official agreements signed to commence collaboration on the Mineral Systems Drilling Program 2015

The Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA, Department of State Development), Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC), mineral explorers - Minotaur Exploration and Kingston Resources, and drilling company Boart Longyear formally commence the MSDP partnership.

Read more


December 2014: Northern Eyre Peninsula selected for real-time trial

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister announces the far north of Eyre Peninsula as the location for the Mineral Systems Drilling Program featuring a world-first trial of technologies designed to deliver real-time drilling results. Minotaur Exploration and Kingston Resources are named as key exploration participants.

Read more