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A new and innovative program using new technologies that will enable cost-effective and successful mineral exploration beneath barren cover

Mineral Systems Drilling Program drill padIn collaboration with DET CRC and industry, the GSSA through the PACE Frontiers initiative, are carrying out a regional drill program to map mineral systems under cover and trial DET CRC technology. The program has strong links to the GSSA’s involvement in research project P3.4 of the Deep Exploration Technology Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC). This collaboration is seeing the use of DET CRC technology which has enabled real-time geochemical, mineralogical and geophysical data collection and facilitated near real-time decision making.

Key objectives of the Mineral Systems Drilling Program include:

  • improving the understanding of the impact of widespread igneous activity along the southern margin of the Gawler Range Volcanics (GRV), specifically focused on mineralisation that formed at high crustal levels and in close proximity to the 1590 Ma paleosurface
  • map alteration and geochemical footprints under cover and by doing so, assess the economic potential of a ‘frontier’ area of the States geology
  • provide a regional framework for future exploration in the district through regional, mineral system-scale drilling
  • identify regional-scale vectors to mineralisation
  • test prospectivity indices developed from earlier studies in the Gawler Craton
  • apply and support the development of DET CRC ‘real-time’ data collection technology
  • utilise ‘real-time’ data to make near real-time decisions during the drill program 
  • revise the stratigraphy of the lower GRV.
Mineral Systems Drilling Program location map

The Mineral Systems Drilling Program 2015 is to take place within designated areas highlighted in orange.

Following industry engagement, the Department of State Development announced a call for expressions of interest for industry involvement. In December 2014 the Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy announced that the program would take place in the northern Eyre Peninsula and that major participants would be Minotaur Exploration and Kingston Resources, following compelling expressions of interest. Mineral explorers holding ground between these two regions will also benefit in the broader program. 

Adrian Fabris inspecting core from drillhole MSDP 1

The selected location of drillhole arrays are in areas identified as highly prospective, based on datasets ranging in scale from crustal architecture to historical drill hole information, as well as targets generated by the exploration companies involved. The northern Eyre Peninsula is identified as one of the state’s key emerging mineral provinces. The region is prospective for a range of deposit styles formed during the 1590 Ma thermal event, which was responsible for many of South Australia’s key base metal, precious metal, and uranium resources. The drill program and associated work programs being coordinated by the South Australian Geological Survey will improve our overall understanding of the impact of widespread igneous activity in this region, specifically focused on mineralisation that formed at high crustal levels and in close proximity to the 1590 Ma paleosurface. Work programs undertaken in conjunction with the regional drill program include bedrock and regolith mapping, geochemical surveys, new geophysical grids, spectral analysis and reviews of know mineral occurrences. 

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For more information, contact:

Adrian Fabris
Senior Geologist
+61 8 8429 2556