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research program 1

regolith geoscience

Exploration through cover in the Thomson Orogen

Project Leader : John Greenfield, NSW Dept Primary Industries

Start date and duration: 01/07/05 - 30/06/08

Participants : Geoscience Australia, NSW Dept Primary Industries, Australian National University, Adelaide University


Brief project description :

The Thomson Orogen, which underlies the Channel Country in northwest New South Wales, is the last major greenfields terrain in NSW. The NSW DPI hopes to make this terrain the focus of a new Exploration Initiative. The Thomson Orogen has potential for arc and ocean-crust related gold and base metal deposits while the area to the south of the Orogen may have potential for Mississippi Valley style zinc deposits. The prospective units are obscured by Eromanga Basin sediments. The basin cover presents a significant impediment to exploration.

The primary objective of this project is to lower mineral exploration risk by developing an effective means of exploring through the cover in the Thomson Orogon. The achievement of this objective will be measured by the increas in exploration investment in the area.

The strategy to achieve these objectives builds on the results of Tibooburra, Curnamona and Cobar-Giralambone Projects (these areas are also under Eromanga Basin cover and Tibooburra is on the western margin of the Thomson Orogen) and has eight elements:

1. Mapping the character and disposition of regolith materials in 3D

2. Developing an understanding of landscape history for the late Mesozoic Cenozoic, including post-Mesozoic tectonics.

3. Characterising contemporary dispersion processes (physical and chemical; including biogeochemical and electro-chemical processes)

4. Identifying palaeo-dispersion processes

5. Developing an exploration strategy

6. Developing and implementing an effective knowledge transfer and training

7. Tracking results and revising strategies based on experience

This project will have close interaction with the generic process projects in Programs 1, 2 and 3, especially Lachlan Fold Belt, Metal Mobility and Geochemical Baselines Projects.

2007-2008 Deliverables (outputs) and expected impacts of research (outcomes):

 

Outputs

•  Digital Database and GIS

•  4 x 1:100k Regolith Maps

•  LEME Reports

•  Publications in national and international journals

•  Presentations at national and international conferences

•  University theses

•  Explorers Guide to the Thomson Orogon

 

Outcomes

•  Development of an accurate landscape evolution model and application to mineral exploration beneath cover in the Thomson Orogen

•  Increase in successful exploration activity in the NSW Thomson Orogen

 

 

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