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New CRC will improve discovery of ore deposits

The mining industry's ability to discover world-class ore deposits will be enhanced by the scientific work of a new Centre for Cooperative Research (CRC) announced today by the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Senator Peter Cook.

The CRC for Landscape Evolution and Mineral Exploration will generate new knowledge about the evolution of the regolith - the upper covering of the earth's crust - and the landscape.

The studies, to cover a variety of areas of resource potential in Australia, will be used to develop new exploration models and to devise new or improved geochemical exploration methods.

The core participants in the CRC will be the Centre for Australian Regolith Studies, based at ANU and the University of Canberra, the Australian Geological Survey Organisation (AGSO), and the CSIRO Division of Exploration and Mining.

Companies from the Australian mineral industry and State geological surveys will be integral to the CRC as supporting participants. Additional collaboration will be available through the Centre's associate network.

Three programs will be carried out on regions of differing geological structure and climatic history, while a fourth program will integrate and synthesis the principal outcomes in terms of the evolution of the landscape across the continent.

The first program, on landscapes and regolith on the Australian Shield, will initially extend and develop from CSIRO and AGSO work already done on landform evolution and geochemical dispersion in the Yilgarn Craton, western Queensland and the Hamersley Basin. New initiatives will be started in South Australia, western NSW and the Northern Territory.

The second program, on landscapes and regolith on the Tasman Fold Belt, will conduct similar studies with new initiatives in Queensland and central-west NSW.

The third program, on basins and landscape evolution, will address the particular problems of geochemical prospecting in and through basinal sediments, such as in the Murray-Darling region. The fourth program will be to combine results from the regional programs to establish a framework for landscape evolution of the Australian continent.


Don Mackay, Minister's Office, 06 277 7580

Tony Hill, DIST, 06 276 1816

Dr Raymond Smith, Executive Director, 09 387 0272