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Adelong Norite unveiled and a small piece of Antarctica on its way to the National Rock Garden in Canberra

At the end of last year, a nine-tonne block of Adelong Norite (aka black granite) was added to the National Rock Garden. This uncommon mafic igneous rock is from the historic gold mining town of Adelong in the Snowy Mountains region of southern New South Wales and was generously donated by Sheri McEvoy. The Adelong Norite has been mined as a decorative building and monumental stone from small quarries around the town, but these are now closed. However, several quarried blocks remain on private property near the quarries. The rock was used to stunning effect in the Qantas House building in Sydney, which opened in 1957. More recently it has been utilised by Australian artist Andreas Buisman to create evocative rock sculptures, including a beautiful polished boulder that rests on the grave of famous eye surgeon Fred Hollows in the western New South Wales town of Bourke. Andreas generously agreed to donate his own time to create two cameo sculptures on the NRG block and has offered to do further work on the piece.

Adelong Norite showing one of the sections sculptured by Andreas Buisman

The inauguration of the Adelong Norite took place on the 25th of November and was attended by 80 people, including special guests Andreas Buisman and Gabby Hollows (widow of Fred Hollows). The display was unveiled by Suzzane Orr MLA for the ACT Government. The National Rock Garden gratefully acknowledges Bendigo Bank Adelong and the Snowy Valleys Council for funding to transport the rock from Adelong to the NRG.

Inauguration of the Addelong norite speciman, National Rock Garden

The National Rock Garden has also been fortunate to acquire its first iconic rock from an Australian territory. in the form of two magnificent blocks of Mawson Charnockite from Antarctica. These samples have been generously donated by the Australian Antarctic Division, who also arranged transport from Antarctica to Tasmania. The rocks recently arrived in Hobart after their shipping from Mawson by barge and the Aurora Australis. They are currently stored at the Mineral Resources Tasmania Core Storage Facility awaiting funding for transport to the NRG.

The Mawson Charnockite occurs around Mawson Station, one of Australia’s three research bases in Antarctica. Both the station and the rock are named after Sir Douglas Mawson, Australia’s most famous Antarctic explorer and a prominent geologist. The rock is described as a brown, gneissic charnockite with a slight to moderate foliation and numerous xenoliths.

The inspiration for including a sample of the Mawson Charnockite in the National Rock Garden came from the late Professor Patrick Quilty, a palaeontologist and geologist who was passionate about Antarctic geoscience and its promotion internationally. He made many research trips to Antarctica and was Chief Scientist with the Australian Antarctic Division from 1981 to 1999. Pat believed that a piece of Antarctica from Australia’s Antarctic Territory would be a fitting memorial to the work of Sir Douglas Mawson and other Australian geologists and scientists who have contributed to understanding the frozen continent. The rock also provides a reminder of the geological connections of Australia to the other southern continents as part of Gondwana.

The National Rock Garden acknowledges the Australian Antarctic Division for the donation of these samples and their transportation to Tasmania. The NRG Steering Committee also thanks Mineral Resources Tasmania for agreeing to safely store the rocks until they can be transported to Canberra.

Ken McQueen MAIG, National Rock Garden Steering Committee.

Perth will host the 2nd Australasian Exploration Geoscience Conference (AEGC) from Monday 2 to Thursday 5 September 2019 at Crown Perth.

The AEGC is the largest petroleum and mineral geoscience conference in Australasia, and incorporates the West Australian Basin Symposium (WABS) and the ASEG-PESA International Geophysical Conference and Exhibition.

The event will be jointly hosted by the Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG)Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (ASEG), and Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia (PESA).

The theme for the 2019 conference is “Data to Discovery”. The AEGC technical program committee has a focus on Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry and how these are applied in exploration for both Petroleum and Mineral systems in Australasia and the wider Asia-Pacific region. The conference has major sub-themes encompassing but not limited to:

  • New technologies
  • New information from old data
  • Local understanding from regional context
  • Workflows and methods that reduce cost/turnaround on projects
  • Cross disciplinary co-ordination
  • Case studies
  • Interacting and communicating science to the wider community.

A vital component of the 2019 conference will be the inclusion of dedicated streams for Australian basins, discovery techniques, mineral mapping, and remote sensing applications.

On behalf of the AEGC 2019 Organising Committee, we look forward to welcoming you to Perth.  Visit the conference web site for the latest information regarding the conference, accommodation, sponsorship and exhibition opportunities.

John Gorter and Tim Dean

Key Dates:

Call for Abstracts Expression of Interest Closes: 31 January 2019 – submit your expression of interest now via the AEGC2019 website.
Early Bird Registration Opens: 1 March 2019
Call for Extended Abstracts Closes: 22 March 2019 
Author Notification: 3 May 2019 or before
Registration Deadline: 31 May 2019

Postdoctoral Research Fellow opportunity at CODES.

CODES, the Centre for Ore Deposit and Earth Sciences formed in 1989 at the University of Tasmania. Over nearly three decades, the Centre has grown substantially and is now regarded widely as a global leader in ore deposit research.

This role is part of a research initiative being funded by the Queensland Government’s Strategic Resources Exploration Program. It is based at CODES, and the successful applicant will undertake geochemical investigations of ores and altered rocks from a variety of sediment-hosted base metal and iron-oxide copper-gold deposits in NW Queensland. The appointee will provide detailed characterisation and interpretations of the distal geochemical footprints to these major base metal resource.

Applications close Monday, 16 July 2018.  Visit the UTas website for more information.

A few places are still available on the 2017 Volcanic Processes, Deposits, Geology and Resources Short Course being held in Merimbula, southern NSW during early December.

Check the AIG Events Calendar for details.

The Tenth International Mining Geology Conference is only two weeks away.  

The conference is being presented jointly by AusIMM and AIG in Hobart from 20-22 September.

The conference includes a number of pre-and post-conference excursions and workshops, details of which are available from the conference web site.

With just two months to go, please consider registering now.  AIG members have access to a dedicated registration link (hosted by AusIMM).

Keynote Speakers