The Australian Government has launched an online data portal that will help the resources sector in leading the economic recovery following COVID-19. Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the portal provides free access to around 250 datasets collected as part of the government’s $225 million Exploring for the Future program.

“We know the resources sector has a lead role to play in our economic recovery, and that certainty in decision-making is a valuable commodity right now,” Minister Pitt said. “The portal includes data that we have collected over three million square kilometres of northern Australia in the last four years with our state and Northern Territory partners.

“To help industry analyse this high-quality data, the portal also includes assessment and analytical tools. For example, the Economic Fairways Mapper can help companies assess the economic viability of a mineral resource in remote Australia,” he said.

Minister Pitt said Exploring for the Future data had already been used by mining exploration companies to make new investment decisions. “Thirteen companies have taken up new exploration tenements in areas the program focused on – the first step toward the discovery and development of a resource. Ten of these companies have publicly recognised the role Exploring for the Future data played in their decision.”

Led by Geoscience Australia, the Exploring for the Future program uses cutting-edge techniques to collect new data and information about potential mineral, energy and groundwater resource systems on the surface and deep underground.

A $100 million investment in Exploring for the Future by the Australian Government in 2016 has delivered a detailed picture of potential resources in northern Australia. In June 2020, the government announced it will invest an additional $125 million over four years to expand the program nationwide.

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