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Queensland mineral exploration

Exploration expenditure data reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics paints a grim picture of mineral exploration for Queensland, relative to the rest of Australia.

Data were reviewed by Brisbane-based member Doug Brewster.

Queensland attracted only 7% of all exploration investment in Australia in 2019, continuing a long decline in exploration expenditure in the state. Queensland attracted 23% of national minerals exploration investment 30 years ago. The figures examined have been adjusted for CPI.

A steep decrease that ended in 1998 is interpreted to be associated with a moratorium on granting of new exploration licences associated with the Wik native title decision, from which minerals exploration expenditure has struggled to recover. The mining and exploration boom between 2005 and 2012 was all about coal in Queensland.

New South Wales is outperforming Queensland. The state attracted about 11% of national minerals exploration expenditure in 2019, up from only 6% 30 years ago.

Minerals exploration in New South Wales appears to be benefitting from relatively recent discoveries in the Cobar Basin (e.g. Mallee Bull) and the Lachlan Fold Belt (Boda). Access to land regulations in New South Wales appear to have had little impact on mineral exploration expenditure.

Mineral exploration in South Australia, after a purple patch during the 2005-2012 boom, perhaps on the back off discoveries including Sovereign Hill and Carrapateena, appears to have gone back to sleep.

Western Australia is the favoured destination for mineral exploration investment in Australia, reflected in the state’s consistently high rankings in the annual Fraser Institute survey of exploration investment intentions in recent years. Western Australia is no less affected by native title than any other state. It does, however, have a dedicated Tenure and Native Title Branch, with liaison officers to assist explorers with access and land use agreements.

Discoveries seem to be the greatest driver of future exploration investment. Equitable native title and land access processes also appear to be important considerations for explorers in determining where to invest both exploration capital and energy.

16th Biennial Meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) 2021: Final call for session submissions

Technical Session Proposal Deadline 7 September 2020
SGA 2021 is calling for session proposals for consideration. Selected proposals will be included in the conference programme and are intended to provide an opportunity to share your knowledge and experience.

Don’t miss out! Submit your proposal today!

Click for submission information

Preliminary Session Themes Include:
Ore-forming processes
Specific mineral systems
New research and exploration developments
Geometallurgy
Sustainable mining and environmental issues
Social licence

Field Trip & Short Course Proposals – There is still time to submit!
Submission Deadline: 2 November 2020

The SGA2021 committee are considering single and muli-day field trips, pre- and post- conference.

View the preliminary field trip options for SGA 2021 around New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, and New Caledonia on the Field Trip page for the SGA 2021 website.

AIG is proud to be supporting the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits in delivering SGA 2021.

AIG is proud to be a co-sponsor of SGA 2021: the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits 16th biennial meeting to be held in Rotorua New Zealand, 15-18 November 2021.

The conference theme is

The Critical Role of Minerals in the Carbon Neutral Future.

The meeting will feature presentations on topics related to mineral deposit research, exploration, sustainable development and environmental and social aspects related to mineral deposits.

The Technical Programme will consist of four days of oral and poster presentations with themes including:

• Specific mineral systems

  • Ore forming processes
  • Specific mineral systems
  • New research and exploration developments
  • Geometallurgy
  • Sustainable mining and environmental issues
  • Social license

Visit the conference website for full information on what to expect and how to submit an abstract. www.sga2021.org

Houston, we have a problem.

Well, we have two problems.

New discoveries are becoming increasingly rare – they are becoming technically more challenging.

And our practical skills as explorers are declining – what made us successful in the past is not what will likely make us successful in the future.

So what can we do about this? And what can Walt Disney teach us about solving these problems?

80 years ago, Walt Disney recognised a skills shortage in his staff at Disney Studios. Born out of this was a school that taught the essential skills to be an animator. The success of Disney since tells us that initiatives such as these cannot just change a student or a single business.  They can change a whole industry.

In this episode, we hear from Richard Lilly founder of NExUS – the National Undercover Exploration School in Australia. Richard recognised the same thing as Walt, an impending skills shortage in geoscientists needed for the future. Born out of this recognition was NExUS, where passionate undergraduates learn the practical aspects of mineral exploration.

Until next time, let’s keep exploring…

AIG is a proud sponsor of the Exploration Radio podcast

The 16th Biennial Meeting of the Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits (SGA) will take place 15-18 November 2021 in Rotorua, New Zealand. 

The meeting will feature presentations on topics related to mineral deposit research, exploration, sustainable development and environmental and social aspects related to mineral deposits. The oral and poster presentation sessions, and pre- and post-conference short courses and field trips will provide a comprehensive programme.

The conference is organised by SGA with support from professionals in universities, research organisations, government, minerals industry, and service providers.

AIG is a supporter of the conference. AIG members may register for the SGA 2021 conference at the SGA member rate, a significant reduction in the conference registration fee.

Important Dates

  •  2 November 2020 – Call for Abstracts
  • 12 April 2021 – Online registration open
  • 3 May 2021 – Deadline for abstract submission
  • 1 September 2021 – Deadline for early bird registration
  • 15 November 2021 – 16th SGA Biennial Meeting

Visit the conference website for full details of the conference, to sign up for conference updates, explore sponsorship and exhibition opportunities and download a copy of the first circular.