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The launch of 14 new exploration release areas (ERAs) in South Australia's Far West represents an exciting new frontier for mineral exploration in the state.

This is a unique opportunity for the successful applicants to be first movers in a vastly under-explored frontier area, where the Geological Survey of South Australia continues to work in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Western Australia and Geoscience Australia to advance a new phase of mineral discoveries.

  • The new ERAs cover a total of approximately 12 000km2 and are designed to coincide spatially with the collection of one of the largest geoscientific datasets in the state's history.
  • Individual ERAs range in size from approximately 600 to 1200km2.

Key exploration initiatives

Expenditure reduction

To promote exploration activity in this new frontier the minimum statutory expenditure for the first two-year term of the ERAs will be discounted by 50%

Information session

In the lead up to the June application period (6-10 June 2016) for the ERAs the Mineral Resources Division hosted an information session on 20 May 2016 to update industry on current understanding of the geology and mineral potential of the Coompana region, aspects of the upcoming geoscientific surveys and the ERA assessment process. Geoscience presentations included information on: the Coompana Province in a regional context; new geological constraints from recently acquired data; geophysical modelling of the Coompana magnetic anomaly; AusLAMP magnetotellurics in the far west of South Australia; and PACE pre-competitive data acquisition and the GSSA's future work program.

Download or view presentations

Rian Dutch: The Coompana Province: Regional context
Download PDF (5.5MB) | View video

Rian Dutch: UNCOVERING the Coompana Province: Pre-competitive data acquisition and GSSA work program
Download PDF (3.3MB) | View video

Tom Wise: The Coompana Province: Basement geology and aeromagnetic interpretation
Download PDF (3.6MB) | View video

Clive Foss: Coompana magentic survey
Download PDF (5.4MB | View video

Stephan Thiel: The Coompana Province: Insights from magnetotelluric data
Download PDF (3.6MB) | View video

Rob Shaw: Applying for an exploration release area (ERA)
Download PDF (773KB) | View video

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Exploration release areas

Coompana ERAs

The application period for exploration licence applications will be from 6-10 June 2016.

More information about the Coompana ERAs and application information

Mineral system potential

Conceptual geological models of the Coompana Province underscore its potential to be a highly prospective region for greenfields mineral exploration.

Mineral system potential includes:

  • nickel-copper-cobalt-PGEs associated with layered mafic/ultramafic intrusives
  • porphyry copper-gold
  • VHMS and SEDEX base metal deposits
  • orogenic gold
  • mafic dyke associated copper
  • paleochannel uranium
  • unconformity related mineralisation.

Geoscientific data

The South Australian Government, through its Geological Survey, is helping to reduce the investment risk in this key region through a staged and comprehensive program of geoscientific data collection and interpretation.

New data currently available includes:

The data from these surveys is available on the South Australian Resources Information Geoserver (SARIG). Click on the What's new option in the top banner in SARIG for quick access to this data.

Data packages to be released during 2016-17 include:

  • Eucla-Gawler seismic line interpretation - June 2016 at the Australian Earth Sciences Convention
  • detailed airborne radiometric survey data - Quarter 3 2016
  • extensive gravity survey comprising approximately 15 000 stations at 500m to 2km spacing - Quarter 4 2016
  • regional magnetotellurics survey (AusLAMP) interpretation and modelling
  • multiple passive-seismic surveys in collaboration with Geoscience Australia
  • geochronology of basement core samples.

A PACE-funded regional stratigraphic drilling program will also be undertaken

Coompana ERA boundaries