MELBOURNE, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Australia's geological agency
has published in-depth minerals mapping data that it hopes will
drive fresh investment in mining and agriculture across the
country's southeast, the agency and resources minister said on
The resource-rich country has some of the world's best
minerals-mapping processes and has teamed up with Canada, the
United States and India in recent years to help them create data
sets of prospective mineral regions.
Last week, minerals explorer KoBold, whose principal
investors include a fund backed by Microsoft's Bill
Gates, said that Australia's detailed, public mapping data made
it an attractive destination, as it announced a tie-up with BHP
Agency Geoscience Australia said it has released data from a
large airborne electromagnetic survey across parts of the states
of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, as
part of an A$225 million ($165 million) exploration programme.
Explorers are increasingly using machine learning to harvest
data that can show the potential for minerals like copper at
depth, since many deposits that are visible on the earth's
surface have already been found.
The survey mapped geology to a depth of 300 metres (984 ft)
beneath the Earths surface by measuring its capacity to conduct
electricity - similar to running a metal detector across a
beach, Resources Minister Keith Pitt said in a statement.
This data will give an indication of whether groundwater,
minerals or energy resources are present across an area the size
of France, more than 600,000 square kilometres (231,661 square
"Industry can now use the data from the Eastern Resources
Corridor AEM survey to target their own exploration activities,
which will create jobs and economic growth," division chief at
Geoscience Andrew Heap said in a statement.
The ancient region once hosted mountains and volcanoes
formed about 500 million years ago that have since eroded but
have likely left a footprint of mineral deposits including
copper, gold, lead and zinc, and critical minerals, he said.
($1 = 1.3672 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Stephen Coates)