Showcasing the latest from the Geological Survey and key collaborative partners.

This year’s Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA) Discovery Day talks were given at an incredibly high standard and the buzz in the room during the breaks was testimony to the connections being built, and in the post-lockdown era, the connections being remade. The event was oversubscribed, with the maximum 300 people limit reached a couple of weeks prior.

Speakers were from across the range of professional experience, from seasoned presenters in the GSSA to a number of PhD students and recent graduates. Highlighting such a range of talent and scientific expertise was one of the aims of the 2022 program, and it was achieved with resounding success.

Starting with a fantastic welcome to country by Jack Buckskin (Kuma Kaaru), the technical program included a fantastic talk by Adjunct Professor Christine Charles of D4G, who spoke eloquently on the need for early, considered and genuine engagement and partnership with community for all types of development, and specifically mineral exploration. Rohan Cobcroft (GSSA) provided an overview of the GSSA’s main activities for the year.

Carmen Krapf at Discovery Day 2022

GSSA’s Carmen Krapf chaired Session 1: New geology. (Photo 418741)

Talks by Dr Claire Wade and Tom Wise (GSSA) on the results of the MinEx CRC Delamerian drilling project, part of the National Drilling Initiative, showcased new concepts on mineral prospectivity across the region. Other important GSSA projects making a splash were Discovery Mapping, Gawler Phase 2 and Sedimentary Copper, with talks by Dr Megan Williams, Dr Alicia Caruso, Dillon Brown (GSSA) and Dr Sussane Schmidt (CSIRO). From talking the big issues of stratigraphic nomenclature for GSSA’s new database project, to characterising and dating mafic rocks, the GSSA contributions were illuminating. Dr Schmidt showed us how facies mapping can reveal important structural features in the Stuart Shelf with implications for sedimentary copper exploration. Sedimentary copper was also touched on by PhD researcher Zara Woolston (MinEx CRC, University of Adelaide), who provided new stable isotope data on the changes that occur to the copper mineralisation through the regolith at the Kapunda deposit.

Holly Taylor at Discovery Day 2022

Holly Taylor, part of a GSSA–Geoscience Australia collaboration, spoke on Curnamona geochemistry: using old data to facilitate new discoveries. (Photo 418742)

The Curnamona Province was a focus for talks by Dr Holly Taylor (Geoscience Australia) and Alex Van Leeuwen (MinEx CRC, University of South Australia) who each looked at the unique geochemistry for the region from different angles. Dr Taylor showed the usefulness of geochemistry in an exploration context with a new dataset, and Alex showed the high heat producing element content of the Curnamona has had some intriguing implications for metamorphism through time in the region.

Drill core display at Discovery Day 2022

Drill core together with complementary GSSA HyLogger data on display highlighting the world-class resources accessible at our South Australia Drill Core Reference Library. (Photo 418743)

Dr Bronwyn Camac (GSSA) and Dr Jessica Walsh (University of Adelaide) each provided talks on critical minerals activity and research, with Dr Walsh focusing on unconformity-related rare earth element mineralisation in the Browns Range region of Western Australia.

Ian Anderson of OZ Minerals presented a talk that showcased how OZ Minerals have taken a machine learning and big data approach to target generation. The predictive techniques have been applied by OZ Minerals to local tenement holdings here in South Australia, but the company has been extending this predictive capacity globally, enabling the identification of new prospective mineral plays that could be tested with follow-up exploration. The use of new technology for geoscience was also ably demonstrated by Professor Tom Raimondo (University of South Australia) who showcased the new MinEx CRC related project for virtual core logging and data visualisation, along with new outreach projects related to the amazing geology of the Flinders Ranges.

Thank you to the organisers Claire Wade, Louise Baida, Alicia Chatburn and Anthony Reid. This was a fantastic event for South Australian geoscience and we hope to see everyone back again next year.

Presentations are available on the Energy and Mining SA YouTube channel.

More about Discovery Day 2022

– Anthony Reid, December 2022

Back to news articles