Deep-dive projects Barkly–Isa–Georgetown
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.
What we are doing
The project incorporates a number of study areas and proposed activities, including:
South Nicholson National Drilling Initiative
The South Nicholson National Drilling Initiative (NDI) Carrara 1 stratigraphic drill hole was completed in late 2020, as a collaboration between Geoscience Australia, the Northern Territory Geological Survey (NTGS) and the MinEx CRC. NDI Carrara 1 is the first drill hole to intersect the as yet undifferentiated Proterozoic rocks of the newly discovered Carrara Sub-basin.
East Tennant National Drilling Initiative
The Tennant Creek to Mount Isa region hosts known mineral deposits in exposed Proterozoic rocks, most notably iron oxide copper-gold mineral systems in the Tennant Creek area, and basin-hosted base metals (zinc, lead) and uranium in the McArthur Basin.
Solid Geology Mapping
Our understanding of the geological history and resource potential of Australia has been underpinned by over half a century of surface geological mapping.
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.