The CORE (Creating Opportunities for Resource Exploration) program is a new $3.95 million initiative by the Territory Government designed to maximise opportunities for the exploration and discovery of new mineral and petroleum resources. The initiative will be undertaken by the Northern Territory Geological Survey (NTGS) and focusses on acquiring new precompetitive geoscience information to stimulate exploration, as well as industry grants for high-risk exploration and programs to attract international investment into projects in the Territory.
The launch of the CORE initiative marks the start of a new focus for Northern Territory Geological Survey (NTGS) on stimulating a new generation of resource discovery in the Territory’s onshore sedimentary basins. Most of the Territory’s current mineral wealth comes from large mineral deposits in sedimentary basins, yet most of these resources were discovered over half a century ago. Geoscience programs under CORE will focus on stimulating exploration for the next generation of discoveries, through mapping and 3D modelling of prospective units and detailed analysis of shales with high zinc and gas potential. Areas of particular focus will include the Amadeus Basin south of Alice Springs and McArthur Basin in the Gulf country. NTGS will also compile a comprehensive document on the hydrocarbon resources and potential of the Northern Territory for release in 2014.
NTGS will also continue to look at the untapped potential of the Arunta Region in central Australia, which is emerging as one of Australia’s leading greenfields provinces for copper-gold deposits. Under CORE, a new geoscience mapping program will commence in the Jervois region, to understand the regional geology and provide industry with a framework to target
Under CORE, the Territory Government will accelerate programs to increase coverage of the Territory with geophysical surveys. Geophysics is a fundamental dataset used by industry to identify areas for exploration and target buried mineralisation. By mid-2014, NTGS will cover an additional 10% of the Territory with modern gravity geophysics, including the remote southwest corner of the Territory, the sandplain between Tennant Creek and the Tanami and the highly prospective area between Borroloola and Ngukurr in the Gulf country. This data will not only be utilised by industry, but will also allow NTGS and its partners to generate 3D models of the subsurface geology to provide industry improve understanding of the potential that exists beneath the surface.
To find out what products are available or are due to be released please contact the Minerals and Energy InfoCentre.
A major component of the CORE initiative is a program of industry collaborative grants that provides exploration companies with 50% of costs (up to $100,000) to conduct projects in unexplored/greenfields areas were little or no exploration has occurred and there is limited geological information. In 2013/14 more than $730,000 will be shared between eight companies, two of which are small local operators, to conduct drilling programs and geophysical surveys in underexplored areas of the NT. This includes the first ever drill hole targeting geothermal energy potential in the Northern Territory.
Information from the projects will be made available six months after completion of the projects to encourage further exploration. The program facilitates increased exploration drilling and geophysics in under-explored areas around the Northern Territory, as well as helping attract new exploration investment.
To find out more about the Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations, including details of projects funded to data, and guidelines for how to apply, please visit www.minerals.nt.gov.au/collaborations.
Online delivery of information and data will be a focus of CORE programs. The first priority is the development of a web-based system to search and download statutory reports and data submitted by mineral explorers.
As part of CORE, the Department of Mines and Energy will develop a renewed strategic approach to attracting investment from international markets into emerging resources projects in the Territory, with a focus on specifically targeting investments from major companies that maximise returns for the Territory.
Investment opportunities in the Northern Territory will continued to be promoted through the NT Investment Alert - a quarterly mail alert providing updates on potential mining developments, prospectivity, joint ventures and investment opportunities.
The Resource Development team is responsible for the International Minerals Investment Attraction Strategy and provides services to identify and introduce potential investors, promote NT business to China and Japan and assists local industry with international business liaison.