The Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA), the CSIRO and industry partners are embarking on a decadal research project to map key territories of the Eastern goldfields in Western Australia.
While traditional gold exploration methods typically focus on individual deposits, MRIWA research portfolio manager, Anil Subramanya, said that a deeper insight into mineral systems that can assist gold miners in planning and executing their exploration campaigns.
“CSIRO found that certain indicator minerals give you an idea of the conditions in which the deposits were formed. This helps exploration companies find gold deposits, determine how big they are and see what else might be found in the ground that they hold,” says Dr. Subramanya.
“By supporting a long-term collaboration, we have helped the development of new exploration research data and a data analysis method for gold mineral systems that, in the short term, may lead to additional gold and precious metal discoveries in the target region,” adds Dr. Subramanya.
The industry sponsors are using the research data, which include gold producers Northern Star Resources, Gold Road Resources, Ramelius Resources, Evolution Mining, Blackham Resources, Saracen Mining, and Echo Resources.
This data will be made available to the public through open access platforms. However, MRIWA and CSIRO are looking to turn the method for interpreting the data into a commercial product.
CSIRO’s research scientist, Adam Bath, believes commercial laboratories that gather and interpret data on mineral systems for gold miners can employ the analysis method.
“We’ve had industry sponsors for the past eight to nine years, who have increased their investment in the mineral systems research over time,” says Bath.
According to Bath, there’s industry appetite to map these systems and commercial laboratories have expressed interest in partnering with the CSIRO.
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