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South Australia launch world’s first 3D model to aid exploration

South Australia has launched a 3D model of its Eastern Gawler Craton to aid new mineral discoveries.

Tom Koutsantonis, SA’s mineral resources and energy minster, said the 3D model will provide explorers a new way of looking at the State’s mineral resources held within the Eastern Gawler Craton.

It comes as the state makes a huge push into developing its under explored regions as part of its Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) program.

PACE includes a two-year, $4 million initiative to support exploration in the state, and has facilitated additional state mineral production of $2.4 billion over the past decade.

It comes just weeks after a pledge by the SA Government to prioritise growth in the resources sector, with plans to create 5000 new mining jobs in the state by 2017.

Last week it launched new gravity data for the northwest Musgrave region as part of the plan.

According to Koutsantonis “this 3D model bring together data sets from our PACE programs from the past decade along with more than 100 years of data from government, scientific, and industry contributors”.

“It will reveal new insights into the geology and mineral systems of the Gawler Craton, reducing business risk for explorers by improving their target selection and allowing them to conduct more cost-effective exploration drilling.

“It is a very powerful tool that will stimulate discovery and drive exploration dollars further in the Eastern Gawler Craton iron oxide copper gold belt.”

The region itself covers the Woomera Prohibited Area, which is believed to have around $35 billion in uncovered deposits.

Woomera was officially opened to mining earlier this year, after Federal Parliament passed a bill to allow for exploration on the Defence Forces testing area.

While South Australia is making a major push into developing new exploration models, it is not the first to use 3D mapping of a region.

Tasmania has previously created an interactive 3D VRML model of the entire state.

Speaking to Mineral Resources Tasmania’s manager of geoscience information, Bob Richardson, he told Australian Mining it went with the development of a 3D model of its entire jurisdiction – known as the TASGO model – as it “would allow explorers to see areas, that from the surface, normally wouldn’t warrant further investment and exploration.”

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