Supporting mining companies for future exploration campaigns

22 November 2023
The front page of the NE Queensland Mineral Deposit Atlas Red Dome and Mungana chapter. 

The Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) is ensuring Queensland mineral explorers are heading into the field with as much information as possible with the release of new chapters for the NE Queensland and NW Queensland Mineral Deposit Atlases.

Researched and compiled by a team from SMI’s WH Bryan Mining Geology Research Centre (BRC), the chapters contain detailed insights into previously discovered deposits that could inform future exploration campaigns of the state’s geologists. The Atlases are part of the Queensland Department of Resources’ New Economy Minerals Initiative.

The latest series began with the release of the Red Dome and Mungana Deposit chapter in June, with additional releases expected in the coming months.  

BRC Senior Research Fellow Dr Tom Evans said each chapter features a wide range of geological information as well as graphics, maps, and downloadable 3d models and databases.

“The Mineral Atlases are intended to be reference documents for significant mineral deposits in Queensland, so companies who are exploring for similar or nearby deposits can use it to help guide their efforts,” Dr Evans said.

“In this release we detail deposits west of Cairns, as far as Georgetown, we also look at deposits to the south past Townsville, to the West around Charters Towers, and past Gladstone to Texas.

“The chapters describe deposit characteristics at the mine scale - the geology, the chemistry of the deposit and its minerals, and what the alteration and geochemical haloes and geophysical signatures around that deposit look like. 

“We also describe the regional geological context and how that is considered important within that mineral deposit’s formation.

“Our predominate data source is the GSQ’s open data portal, and we also review postgraduate theses on specific deposits, journal articles, books and stock exchange releases – there is a lot of investigative work.”

A section of the Red Dome and Mungana Chapter examining the Deposits' Geophysical Expressions.

Geological Survey of Queensland Director of Minerals Geoscience, Dr Janelle Simpson, said the Atlases are an important part of our pre-competitive geoscience data catalogue.

“Precompetitive data plays a vital role in getting explorers looking for critical minerals in the best locations, and has long been a focus for us. Through collaboration with BRC, we are expanding the range of deposits covered by these Atlases,” Dr Simpson said.

BRC Director Professor Mark Noppé said the chapters provide exploration companies with an important resource to make their discovery process more efficient.

“The bulk of the exploration work in Queensland is done through junior companies, and they are very good at what they do, but, for them, having to research and compile information takes time and money away from drilling, mapping and field geology,” Professor Noppé said.

“These chapters potentially allow companies to skip that stage, or significantly reduce it, and get to the heart of what they want to be doing.

“If Queensland is going to respond effectively to the demand for metals being driven by the energy transition, explorers need to be able to make prompt, informed decisions on where we might find them.”

Media: Connor Pound,, +61 447 812 081.