Alice Springs

Growing economic prosperity and social wellbeing

Since 2016, the Exploring for the Future program has been working across Australia, building the picture of our continent’s deep geological structures and improving our understanding of potential resources in unexplored and underexplored areas.

The program has already demonstrated benefits for the first 4 years (2016–20), especially in regional Australia, including:

  • supporting 310 jobs for contractors and small businesses
  • providing vital information to inform agricultural developments and increase the knowledge and understanding of natural resources
  • new and increased investment, particularly in regional economies.

Learn more about the  benefits of the program from the first 4 years.

    Our work supports

    • Growing economic prosperity and social well-being through resource development.
    • Investment in resource exploration, development and responsible agricultural planning.
    • Economic stability for regional communities through new job creation and royalties. 

    Featured work

    A map showing the locations of the magnetotelluric stations across Australia

    Exploring for the Future takes a deeper look at northern Australia

    A new electrical conductivity model released by Geoscience Australia’s Exploring for the Future program offers a deeper look at the geology in northern Australia with promising results.

    Exploring for the Future takes a deeper look at northern Australia Read the news story
    Isotopic maps

    An Isotopic Atlas of Australia: a window into the geological evolution of the Australian continent

    Australia as it exists today is a product of geological processes that have occurred over its 4.5 billion year history. Isotopic studies are one approach to understanding the history and evolution of the Australian continent. 

    An Isotopic Atlas of Australia: a window into the geological evolution of the Australian continent Watch the video

    AuScope underpins Julimar polymetallic minerals discovery

    In November 2021, Chalice Mining Limited released a maiden resource statement for the Julimar polymetallic mineral deposit on Wadjuk Country in Western Australia. This is an exciting milestone for Chalice on the path to delivering palladium, nickel, copper and platinum for clean energy technologies.

    AuScope underpins Julimar polymetallic minerals discovery Read the case study
    geoscience data discovery portal diagram

    Geological setting, age and endowment of major Australian mineral deposits

    Results of a national compilation of mineral deposits (available in Excel or CSV format) for Australia. The deposits were selected as they have substantial endowment (ie pre-mining mineral resource) and/or detailed geological information is available. 

    Geological setting, age and endowment of major Australian mineral deposits Access the data
    city view from above

    Case studies

    Our case studies showcase our work, community stories, and emerging benefits and impacts of the Exploring for the Future program.  

    Case studies Read case studies

    Other impact areas

    Installing solar panels

    Informed decisions

    Effective evidence-based decision-making between landholders, traditional owners, public, government and industry.

    Informed decisions Learn more
    Electric vehicle


    Increased sustainability unperpinned by thriving low emissions energy and improved responsible management of natural resources and the environment. 

    Sustainability Learn more
    Water security

    Water security

    Improved water security for households, agriculture and industry.

    Water security Learn more
    Outback rural landscape with red earth, dry rivers and green trees, Australia, aerial view

    Understanding what lies beneath

    The Australian Government’s Exploring for the Future program, led by Geoscience Australia, is dedicated to supporting a strong economy, resilient society and sustainable environment for the benefit of Australians through an integrated geoscientific understanding of our mineral, energy and groundwater resource potential.

    Launched in 2016, the first 4 years of the program (2016–20) initially focused on northern Australia. Based on the program’s success it was extended (2020–24) and expanded across the whole of Australia.

    Drawing together data, science and innovative techniques and technology, the program enables us to map undercover and underexplored areas. This in turn encourages new investment in ‘greenfield’ areas by providing security and certainty to our minerals, energy and agriculture sectors as we transition towards a sustainable, low-emissions future.

    The evidence gathered through the program is already translating into real impacts, providing industry and communities with vital information they need to confidently plan, make better informed decisions and invest in new developments.

    The Exploring for the Future impact pathway summarises how the program will realise its vision.