Northern Territory Queensland

Survey reveals potentially mineral-rich area in Northern Australia

New data gathered by the Australian Government has revealed a potentially mineral-rich area straddling the NT-Queensland border is three times larger than previously known.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan released the information to coincide with the Annual Geoscience Exploration Seminar (AGES) in Alice Springs.

“The seismic data from the South Nicholson Basin shows the area covers over 91,000 square kilometres, larger than Tasmania,” Minister Canavan said.

“The data also reveals great potential for mineralisation but it’s too soon to say how much resources the basin holds.

“Geologically, it lies at a critical junction in northern Australia — between the world-class mineral-endowed regions of Mount Isa and Tennant Creek.

“The neighbouring McArthur Basin contains both oil and gas, and the newly enlarged area of the South Nicholson Basin may be similarly prospective.

“This is an exciting development.”

Minister Canavan said the ongoing surveys of the South Nicholson Basin were led by Geoscience Australia as part of the Government’s $100-million Exploring for the Future (EFTF) program.

“This new information is another step to gaining a better understanding of the location and scale of potential oil, gas and mineral resources in the region.

“This is one of the largest studies of its kind in Australia, with more than 1100 kilometres of seismic reflection data collected.

“Together with previously released gravity data, these new data dramatically increase our geological understanding of this diverse region.”

Minister Canavan said a key to Australia remaining a world leader in mining and resources investment was to keep gathering new and more detailed geological data.

“We know detailed geological data collected in the South Nicholson Basin region is vital to stimulating more exploration activity across northern Australia.

“More datasets will be released later, followed by targeted stratigraphic drilling in 2019.

“EFTF represents a new frontier for resource discovery in northern Australia, providing insight for exploration companies to identify new prospects for petroleum, mineral and groundwater resources in this region,” Minister Canavan said.

Note: The South Nicholson data acquisition is one of 17 projects underway across northern Australia and South Australia as part of the $100.5 million EFTF program led by Geoscience Australia. The seismic reflection survey was undertaken in partnership with the Northern Territory Geological Survey, the Geological Survey of Queensland and AuScope.

Source: Australian Government