Precompetitive Review

A unique and dedicated source of news and insights on Australian precompetitive geoscience for mineral exploration

Latest News

Surprise seismic results from under the Canning Basin could boost sediment-hosted potential

Surprise seismic results from under the Canning Basin could boost sediment-hosted potential

Prospectivity of sediment-hosted base metals in the Canning Basin may have been given a significant boost by an innovative regional ...
First look at WA Array results reveals very complex Moho and new view of southwest mineral systems

First look at WA Array results reveals very complex Moho and new view of southwest mineral systems

A preliminary image from WA Array has revealed remarkable detail of a complex Moho under ...
Discovery of a volcanic arc in Murchison region provides a new playbook for exploration

Discovery of a volcanic arc in Murchison region provides a new playbook for exploration

New research from the Geological Survey of WA into magmatic rocks of the western Youanmi ...
National-scale AusLAMP model highlights new major conductor near Macquarie Arc

National-scale AusLAMP model highlights new major conductor near Macquarie Arc

The growth in AusLAMP coverage of 50% of the Australian continent at a spacing of ...
Sediment-hosted copper in Victoria deserves a closer look: GSV/CSIRO

Sediment-hosted copper in Victoria deserves a closer look: GSV/CSIRO

The Geological Survey of Victoria has teamed up with CSIRO to assess the potential for ...
First global compilation of REE deposits in more than 20 years delivers surprising insights

First global compilation of REE deposits in more than 20 years delivers surprising insights

The first new global compilation of REE deposits in more than 20 years is generating ...
Cambrian rocks emerging across the Lachlan Orogen could lead to big new ideas for Cu-Au

Cambrian rocks emerging across the Lachlan Orogen could lead to big new ideas for Cu-Au

New evidence of Cambrian rocks under the eastern and central Lachlan Orogen, including the Macquarie ...

In Brief...

New data backs porphyry Cu fertility in Delamerian in SA

A new paper led by Wei Hong (former MinEx CRC/GSSA researcher and now UTAS Research Fellow) makes a strong case for porphyry Cu fertility in parts of the Delamerian Orogen in SA, including the Anabama Pluton now held by Peel Mining. The paper reports results of detailed study of apatite and zircon geochemistry from several known porphyry Cu-Mo-Au prospects. Wei first released some of these results at a GSSA Discovery Day in 2021, but the full results and the new paper add to the story and the prospectivity of the region. 

In the future, bacteria could extract your REEs

Biologists have discovered bacteria in the Solfatara Crater in Italy that gobble up REEs, creating potential for biological processing of REE deposits. Do not bank on it any time soon, but where there is a nexus between bacteria and REEs, there just might be a way. The possibility is discussed in a new paper in Microbial Technology.

NZ releases national soil geochemistry atlas

New Zealand’s geoscience agency has released a national atlas of soil geochemistry, with a full suite of 65 elements from more than 800 locations. GNS New Zealand is keen to emphasise the usefulness of the survey for environmental monitoring and agriculture, but it also represents a high quality dataset for mineral exploration across the country.

New database of all GA active and passive seismic

Geoscience Australia and its state partners have been shooting deep crustal seismic lines for decades, which means there could be a big reflection seismic traverse through or near your frontier exploration project. These lines were big news at the time, but are easy to overlook by subsequent generations of explorers. GA has made it easy to discover relevant regional seismic by publishing a new database of metadata of all its reflection seismic surveys, with links to the seismic data itself. These surveys often changed our understanding of the region and spawned interpretative studies that remain highly relevant. The database also includes the rapidly expanding list of passive seismic surveys.

NSW releases multiple surveys

NSW’s Minister for Resources, Courtney Houssos, this week announced a number of geophysical data releases ahead of GSNSW’s annual Exploration in the House conference today. The major data releases are the Yathong airborne magnetics and radiometrics survey (east– west lines spaced 200 m apart and north–south lines spaced 2 km apart), Yathong-Cobar AEM (15,000 line km),  Forbes to Dubbo AEM, and Cobar to Yathong regional seismic. Coverage of the major findings will appear in the next release of articles on Precompetitive Review.

Two major surveys set to begin flying in NE QLD

Geoscience Australia and GSQ will begin acquisition by the end of June of 33,000 line-km of airborne gravity gradiometry (AGG) over the Georgetown region. This survey is funded by Queensland’s New Economy Minerals Initiative. The survey will be flown at a 1 km line spacing and builds on the successful template established by the Canobie AGG in 2022. GA and GSQ will also begin flying an extension of AusAEM by the end of next month. Acquisition of up to 18 000 line-km at a 20 km line spacing will fill the gap between the eastern limit of current coverage and the Queensland coast. AusAEM results will be integrated with crustal seismic, aeromagnetic, gravity, geology and geochemistry to improve estimation of cover thickness and definition of basins.

Zn, Cu skarn mineralisation in NE QLD tied to younger magmas

New UQ-GSQ research on the Mt Garnet skarn deposit (where Kagara Zinc delineated 4 Mt @ 6% Zn and 0.34% Cu) has tied Zn mineralisation to the youngest member of the Kennedy Igneous Association (KIA) – the Claret Creek Supersuite at 300 – 272 Ma. Previously, the oldest KIA supersuite (O’Briens Creek at 335 to 317 Ma) was thought to the magmatic driver of most of the complex mineralisation in the region. The new findings could open up a new search space for zinc skarns along the Chillagoe Formation. The study combined garnet geochemistry with the first direct geochronology on hydrothermal minerals in the region. The study suggested no change in the view that Sn-W mineralisation is associated with the O’Briens Creek Supersuite.

New indicators for sanukitoid gold followers in the Yilgarn

Researchers at the Centre for Exploration Targeting have a new paper with ideas for discovery of multi-million-ounce sanukitoid gold deposits in the Yilgarn, based on a detailed study of the 2 Moz Karari-Whirling Dervish deposit. The unusual deposit is related to an intrusion of syenite — an extremely alkalic magma — that puts it in the category of Yilgarn sanukitoid gold deposits, along with the much bigger Wallaby deposit owned by Gold Fields. The new paper describes a number of geochemical and mineral fertility indicators. 

Graphite prospectivity report in SA

The Geological Survey of South has released a prospectivity report on graphite, noting that SA actually has two-thirds of Australia’s known resources. No surprise to see a focus on the eastern Eyre Peninsula, but the report also notes discoveries in the Mt Woods Inlier as recently as 2017, and discusses the under-explored graphite potential of the Curnamona Region, where Havilah Resources made a significant discovery in January.

New lithium data across national catchments

Lithium explorers have a whole new national dataset to work with. GA released on 13 February acid digest results for Li, Be, Cs and Rb for the 1,315 top outlet samples in the National Geochemical Survey of Australia. NGSA previously excluded Li because a lithium-borate flux was part of the element analysis method deployed for NGSA.

Paleovalley maps in western Gawler

Paleovalleys anywhere near the uranium-rich Gawler Craton are hot property at the moment, so there will be interest in a Geological Survey of South Australia report released in December. GSSA has used its very high quality new datasets acquired for the Gawler Challenge Phase 2 project to remap vast paleovalley systems in the cental western Gawler Craton.

Pedirka gravity and reprocessed seismic

NTGS has released a major ground gravity dataset in the Pedirka Basin in the southeast of the Northern Territory. Gravity data was collected from 11,000 stations at 2km and 4 km spacings over 61,000 sq.km. The Pedirka Basin is traditionally a petroleum hunting ground but the new gravity (preliminary) dataset includes basement around the basin margins and could contain interesting features for mineral explorers. Other relevant news is the Geoscience Australia release in November of reprocessed seismic in the Pedirka Basin as part of an integrated set of seismic profiles across central Australian basins.

NTGS puts sediment-hosted potential of the Amadeus Basin back on the radar

NTGS puts sediment-hosted potential of the Amadeus Basin back on the radar

The sediment-hosted base metal potential of Birrindudu Basin was in the spotlight at last week’s AGES, but there was other ...
Major faults remapped under cover in Victoria, expanding gold search space and extending Bendigo Zone into NSW

Major faults remapped under cover in Victoria, expanding gold search space and extending Bendigo Zone into NSW

Exploration for gold under the Murray Basin in Victoria and even into southwest NSW has received a major boost with ...
UQ’s SMI, AuScope developing drones for camp-scale ground geophysics entirely from the air

UQ’s SMI, AuScope developing drones for camp-scale ground geophysics entirely from the air

Australian researchers are working on the application of long-flight-duration drones to mineral exploration, including Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) ...
Final datasets released from major GSSA-CSIRO project on the Stuart Shelf

Final datasets released from major GSSA-CSIRO project on the Stuart Shelf

Explorers targeting sediment-hosted copper on the Stuart Shelf have exceptional new precompetitive thanks to the final data release of a ...
Study based on AusLAMP data highlights dangers of solar storms to east coast grid

Study based on AusLAMP data highlights dangers of solar storms to east coast grid

The vast MT datasets created by AusLAMP have been applied ingeniously to show which parts of the east coast power ...
Regional seismic line delivers big insights across southwest WA

Regional seismic line delivers big insights across southwest WA

A 630-km crustal seismic transect across the southwest of WA has confirmed a big decision by GSWA in 2021 to ...
Lessons from first full study of Mt Weld for REE and niobium exploration

Lessons from first full study of Mt Weld for REE and niobium exploration

A new paper led by ANU’s Ross Chandler reveals why Mt Weld is one of the most significant REE deposits ...
Delamerian found to host at least four mineral systems

Delamerian found to host at least four mineral systems

The first in a series of reports from Geoscience Australia on the Delamerian Orogen reveals direct evidence of at least ...
New depth to basement data across all of Australia’s younger basins

New depth to basement data across all of Australia’s younger basins

An innovative way of looking at passive seismic results has been combined with Geoscience Australia’s national databases to give explorers ...
Lead isotopes the latest spin off from the National Geochemical Survey of Australia

Lead isotopes the latest spin off from the National Geochemical Survey of Australia

The National Geochemical Survey of Australia (NGSA) is the basis of another new geochemical dataset of national scale. This time ...