Discover our projects


Watch an overview video about the Exploring for the Future program and its projects (3:30 min)

Program activities

Growing our understanding of Australia’s geology

Since 2016 the Exploring for the Future program has been building on decades of Geoscience Australia’s knowledge and expertise to generate new science and characterise the geology of Australia from the surface down to great depths.

During 2020–24, 8 projects will continue to unlock the potential of Australia’s groundwater, energy and mineral resources that will benefit all Australians for decades to come. This includes:

  • 3 deep-dive projects in the geological regions of Officer–Musgrave–Birrindudu in central-west Australia, Darling–Curnamona–Delamerian in south-east Australia and Barkly–Isa–Georgetown in the north-east
  • 3 continental-scale projects that have national applications but with a focus in southern Australia: Australia’s Resources Framework, National Groundwater Systems and Australia’s Future Energy Resources projects
  • 2 program support projects: Enhanced Data Delivery and Geoscience Knowledge Sharing projects.

All our projects are collaborations with Commonwealth, state, territory and university partners, landholders and Traditional Owner groups; and leverage the capabilities of Australia’s world-leading Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector.

View the Exploring for the Future program’s organisational chart [PDF 90 KB], which presents all the projects and their related modules or project activities since the program began in 2016.

Project activities during the current Exploring for the Future program (2020–24)

Project activities during the current Exploring for the Future program (2020–24)

Deep-dive projects

Broken Hill NSW, Australia


The Darling–Curnamona–Delamerian project is delivering new data and knowledge to assess mineral and groundwater potential and support water management across western New South Wales and Victoria, eastern South Australia and northwest Tasmania.

Darling–Curnamona–Delamerian Learn more
Outback landscape with trees in the distance


The Officer–Musgrave–Birrindudu project is investigating the energy and groundwater potential of the Officer Basin, the adjoining Musgrave Province and nearby Birrindudu Basin.

Officer–Musgrave–Birrindudu Learn more
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. 

Barkly–Isa–Georgetown Learn more

National projects

Helicopter landing after day of field work, kicking up dust and debris

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. 

Australia’s Resources Framework Learn more
Image of water tank in a dry golden landscape

National Groundwater Systems

The National Groundwater Systems project is improving understanding of Australia’s groundwater resources to better support responsible groundwater management and secure groundwater resources into the future.

National Groundwater Systems Learn more
Aerial view of Brisbane at night

Australia’s Future Energy Resources

This project is evaluating the potential for new energy commodities hosted within sedimentary basins, including oil, natural gas and hydrogen, to support Australia’s transition to a low carbon economy. It will also assess the optimal locations for green and blue hydrogen production, including storage areas.  

Australia’s Future Energy Resources Learn more

Support projects

short-haired blonde woman with re glasses looks at code on desktop monitor

Enhanced Data Delivery

The Enhanced Data Delivery project supports the Exploring for the Future program in digital transformation and data infrastructure, building on the robust and flexible systems developed through other innovative programs across Geoscience Australia.

Enhanced Data Delivery Learn more
Close-up of young aboriginal people sitting around a table together outdoors in the sun in Australia.

Geoscience Knowledge Sharing

The Geoscience Knowledge Sharing project supports the Exploring for the Future program in establishing relationships and enhancing our engagement with the diverse stakeholders and communities, where the program operates, including remote and First Nations Australian communities, farmers and rural towns. 

Geoscience Knowledge Sharing Learn more
EFTF Showcase

2024 Showcase

Geoscience Australia will hold the final Exploring for the Future online public Showcase during 13–16 August 2024, marking the conclusion of the 8-year program and celebrating its enduring legacy. Geoscience experts will highlight impacts, benefits and achievements, new scientific insights and a comprehensive collection of precompetitive geoscience outputs, including transformed national datasets, improved mineral, energy, and groundwater resources assessments, unravelled regional geology, new decision support tools and more. Everyone is welcome!