Project activity Economic Fairways
Informing resource development projects across Australia.
The Economic Fairways project is a collaboration between Geoscience Australia and . The project focuses on the development and application of new resource economic modelling algorithms for mineral (including critical commodities), energy (including hydrogen), and groundwater systems. Our approach seeks to combine the geoscience knowledge and datasets of Geoscience Australia with world-leading techno-economic modelling developed at Monash University. A key product of the project is the national Economic Fairways Mapper - a free, online tool that enables rapid, high-level economic appraisal of the opportunities and challenges for resource development projects.
The Economic Fairways project seeks to build a better understanding of how geoscientific considerations and the physical environment interact to influence resource potential across Australia. Through the application of advanced mapping technology, the Economic Fairways Mapper has been designed to help inform decision-makers across industry, government, finance and communities.
What are we doing?
Through the Exploring for the Future program, the Economic Fairways Mapper tool and underlying software are being developed to enable analysis for a range of commodity types, including:
- base and precious metals
- critical minerals
- mine tailings (mine waste)
- hydrogen and ammonia
- carbon capture and storage (CCS)
Both the Economic Fairways Mapper and the Bluecap software repository are being updated during the Exploring for the Future program.
In recognition of the innovation and impact of the Economic Fairways Mapper, the project team won the . This highlights the role of the tool to facilitate informed decision-making in planning the renewable energy and mineral projects that will be needed to support a net-zero emissions future.
- green steel (beta version)
HEFT is designed to support decision-making by policymakers and investors on the location of new infrastructure and development of hydrogen hubs in Australia. It considers both hydrogen produced from renewable energy (such as wind and solar) and from fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage.
The Green Steel Economic Fairways Mapper tool combines large-scale datasets to provide a high-level geospatial analysis of the regional opportunities and potential for green hydrogen, iron and steel developments across Australia. It allows users to vary the capacities and costs of technologies needed for low-carbon steelmaking. Starting from these assumptions, the tool analyses large volumes of renewable energy data to model the costs of steel production and how these vary spatially. The beta release focuses on the regional availability of renewable energy and how hourly renewable energy performance influences storage and production costs in iron and steelmaking.
We welcome your feedback, which will help shape the future development of the Green Steel Economic Fairways Mapper tool. If you have suggestions or wish to share your perspective on the tool, please email
Economic Fairways is a collaboration between and Geoscience Australia. It involves multi-disciplinary collaboration with other projects across the Exploring for the Future program, including hydrogen studies, carbon capture and storage, and national mine waste assessment.
Important to know
The Economic Fairways Mapper wins coveted Eureka Prize for Innovative Research in Sustainability
The Economic Fairways Mapper research team, a Monash University and Geoscience Australia partnership, won the Eureka Prize for Innovative Research in Sustainability announced at the 2023 Australia Museum Eureka Awards ceremony on 23 August.
Australia’s Resources Framework
This project is laying the foundations for a national view of Australia’s surface and subsurface geology, underpinning our understanding of the continent’s mineral, energy and groundwater potential.
Hydrogen Economic Fairways Tool (HEFT)
The Hydrogen Economic Fairways Tool (HEFT) is designed to support implementation of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy. It helps investors identify regions suitable for hydrogen production in Australia.