Deep-dive projects Barkly–Isa–Georgetown

Train Range Ironstone Member on a EFTF field trip in the South Nicholson region

This project is delivering new data and knowledge to assess the mineral and energy potential in undercover regions between Tennant Creek, Mount Isa and Georgetown, maximising opportunities for the resources sector in the region.

Building on the work completed in the first 4 years of the Exploring for the Future program (2016–20), the project is undertaking drilling and analysis of samples in the East Tennant and South Nicholson regions, in collaboration with MinEx CRC. This work tests geological interpretations and the inferred mineral and energy potential of these covered regions. Further work includes analysis of groundwater chemistry and extension of magnetotelluric data (The Australian Lithospheric Architecture Magnetotelluric Project (AusLAMP)) eastwards across the margins of the Mount Isa Province. The results are being integrated into pre-competitive geoscientific coverages to facilitate the progression from stimulating exploration to supporting discovery.

One of the key focus areas is assessing opportunities for secondary prospectivity through the analysis of mine waste in Queensland’s Northwest Minerals Province, identifying potential sites for retreatment and recovery of critical minerals.

Due to the complexity of this image and the niche scientific target audience, no alternative description has been provided. Please email Geoscience Australia at for an alternative description.


What we are doing

The project incorporates a number of study areas and proposed activities, including:


Geoscience Australia acknowledges all landholders and communities who have supported our work in rural, regional and remote Australia. 

Geoscience Australia staff engaging with communities

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. 

For more information or general enquiries, please email


Current program

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.

Program support
Two program support projects: Enhanced Data Delivery and Geoscience Knowledge Sharing projects.