A new report on the “Outlook for Selected Critical Minerals Australia 2021” has forecast growing demand for critical minerals out to 2030, with opportunities for Australian production and investment in downstream value-adding processes. The report outlines the potential for further growth in Australia’s critical minerals sector.

That makes the next phase of the Australian Government’s $225 million Exploring for the Future program – which will unlock new groundwater, energy and mineral resources across Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory – all that more important.

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said that the Officer Basin and Musgrave Province will be the focus of one of three deep-dive projects Geoscience Australia will undertake over the next four years. “Geoscience Australia will conduct stratigraphic drilling along a large seismic line within Officer Basin and analyse new and existing geophysical, geochemical, geochronological and hydrogeological data to better understand the petroleum and groundwater potential of the region,” Minister Pitt said in a release.

“Geoscience Australia will also find new ways of mapping paleovalleys – ancient riverbeds buried by younger sediment – and groundwater in the Musgrave Province.”

“These regions heavily rely on groundwater resources for communities, agriculture, energy and mineral-resource development and this project will support water resilience in these areas. The insights gained will drive new investment in the resources and agricultural sector and fuel Australia’s post-COVID economic recovery.”

Geoscience Australia will embark on eight projects over the next four years as part of the next phase of the Exploring for the Future program, as detailed in this issue’s Leading Developments section. This includes three deep-dive projects in the geological regions of Officer-Musgrave in central Australia, Darling-Curnamona-Delamerian in south-east Australia and Barkly-Isa-Georgetown in the northeast.Minister Pitt said these projects will build on the success of the first stage of the Exploring for the Future program – which delivered a detailed picture of potential resources across more than three million square kilometres of northern Australia from 2016 to 2020.

Exploring for the Future will create short, medium and long-term jobs in the resources sector, and to play a key role in Australia’s gas-fired recovery.


Mark S. Kuhar, editor
[email protected]
(330) 722‐4081
Twitter: @editormarkkuhar