Survey reveals potential for mineral and water resources in State’s far North West

16 October 2017

SA Government: New airborne survey data is now available to help unlock the economic potential of the State’s Far North West.

The Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) survey covered 17,395 line kilometres of data in the Musgraves Ranges.

The data will give regional communities access to information regarding groundwater resource potential and will help exploration companies target potential underground resources within the area.


The Musgrave Province covers an area of approximately 120 000 km2, straddling the border between South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The area is highly prospective for nickel-copper-platinum group element deposits but discoveries within the South Australian region of the Province have been limited due to issues around land access, extensive cover and a lack of geoscientific mapping, information and data.

The Musgrave AEM survey was conducted in partnership with Geoscience Australia under the State-Federal National Collaboration Framework and with the Goyder Institute of Water Research. The Goyder Institute intend to build on this survey by drilling hydrogeological wells to validate the AEM data - more information on this project can be found at

The Musgrave AEM project is a deliverable of the South Australian Government’s PACE (Plan for Accelerating Exploration) Initiative.

The PACE Musgrave Province Airborne Electromagnetic Survey dataset (2016SA002) is now freely available for all stakeholders to download through the New Releases area of the South Australian Resources Information Gateway (SARIG) -

The preliminary survey image represents a depth slice at 80 to 110 metres below the surface with colours corresponding to the relative electrical conductivity of the ground. The results clearly show features that correspond to underground water networks (paleochannels).

Quotes attributable to Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis

The State Government funded this survey so we can give communities and resources businesses the tools they need to unlock the economic potential of our regions.

Exploration companies will have the ability to see through the overlying cover and better understand the mineral potential of this highly prospective yet underexplored area of South Australia. By providing a better understanding of the mineral and groundwater potential of the Musgraves we can encourage exploration companies to invest in our regions and create jobs for regional South Australians.

This survey will also help narrow the search for high quality groundwater resources, which will have a wide range of benefits for regional communities.




Source:  South Australian Government -

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