National projects Australia’s Resources Framework
This project is laying the foundations for a national view of Australia’s surface and sub-surface geology, underpinning our understanding of the continent’s mineral, energy and groundwater potential.
Through new, large-scale data acquisition, advances in big data analytics and tailored resource assessments, the outputs of this project support the resource sector, agriculture, remote communities and the environment, and contribute to community safety.
Key data acquisition activities include continued development of fundamental national datasets, such as , , , geochemistry, mineralogy, geochronology and the Isotopic Atlas. Targeted data acquisition programs include deposit geochronology and geochemical analysis of mine waste for critical minerals.
Analysis of new and legacy datasets is feeding into interpretative products, such as seamless multi-layered sub-surface geology models, including variations in geochemical and geophysical properties, from the top few centimetres to hundreds of kilometres below the Earth’s surface. This evolving geological framework will shed new light on processes that control mineral, energy and groundwater distribution and thereby resource potential across Australia.
What we are doing
The Australia’s Resources Framework project incorporates a number of study areas and proposed activities grouped into 3 categories, including:
Integrated Geological Products
Heavy Mineral Map of Australia Release Workshop
The Heavy Mineral Map of Australia (HMMA) is the world’s first public domain, continental-scale heavy mineral dataset and atlas. Through a collaboration with Curtin University, over 1,000 archived samples from across Australia have been analysed for automated identification and quantification of heavy minerals. The HMMA and accompanying cloud-based mineral network analysis (MNA) tool will positively impact mineral exploration and prospectivity modelling around Australia, as well as have other applications in earth and environmental sciences. The HMMA and MNA tool was publicly released at a workshop on 12 October 2023 in Perth.
Mapping Australia’s heavy minerals in world-first
The Australian Government’s Exploring for the Future program is continuing to deliver for the resources industry with the release of a new tool to support the discovery of minerals critical to the net zero transformation. The Heavy Mineral Map of Australia, developed by Geoscience Australia in collaboration with Curtin University, has been created using heavy mineral samples found in floodplain sediments from across the country.
Collaboration building Geoscience Australia’s Isotopic Atlas of Australia
Ongoing collaboration between Geoscience Australia and a wide range of agencies and institutions is building a nationally valuable database of geochronology and isotopes.
Important community information
Geoscience Australia is committed to land, air and marine access best practice and to protecting cultural heritage and the environment.
We thank the people and communities who collaborate with us to ensure the success of the Exploring for the Future program.
Geoscience Australia activities are not undertaken on behalf of any exploration company; we work for the benefit of all Australians.
All data produced by Geoscience Australia, including the data from this project, will be made publicly available after quality assurance has been performed.
The current Exploring for the Future program (2020–24) focuses on 8 interrelated projects, united in growing our understanding of Australia's geology.
Three deep-dive projects in potentially resource-rich corridors identified in the east and west of Australia: Darling–Curnamona–Delamerian, Officer–Musgrave–Birrindudu and Barkly–Isa–Georgetown projects.
Three national projects with a focus on southern Australia: Australia’s Resources Framework, National Groundwater Systems and Australia’s Future Energy Resources projects.
Two program support projects: Enhanced Data Delivery and Geoscience Knowledge Sharing projects.