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Seeds of mining

Wednesday, 30th September, 2009

By Gina Wilson

The Broken Hill region can expect a wave of new exploration following a three-day conference which began in the city yesterday.

The organiser of the Broken Hill Explorers Conference, Rob Barnes, said that new investment was guaranteed as a result of the event, which unveiled a suite of new maps and data.

"We don't hope, we expect it. There's no question that the government providing this new information will foster new investment," Mr Barnes said. "We can almost guarantee that companies will re-look at the area with new vigour and we're seeing renewed interest as we come out of the downturn caused by the global financial crisis. "It's a snowball effect and this conference is generating the seeds of ideas to get the ball rolling." Around 110 people from industry and government, including the SA, NSW and Commonwealth governments, are attending the conference which ends tomorrow. The key development was the unveiling of maps containing new and updated geological and geophysical data. Mr Barnes, who is also the chief mineral geoscientist for Industry and Investment NSW (formerly the Department of Primary Industries), said this new information would cut down exploration costs by allowing companies to target critical areas. "The information allows the agencies to put the information that they've acquired over the better part of three years, including a whole suite of new geological maps and new geophysical data, and make it available to the exploration industry," he said. "The maps are far clearer due to improvements in technology. "Interpreting new data and new interpretation of old data provides the information which will allow mineral explorers to focus their efforts on those rocks that are most likely to hold mineral deposits." Mr Barnes said companies could use the data at minimal cost. "Most of the information has been acquired through government exploration initiatives and is available to industry at a minimal cost," he said. "The important component to the new data is that it allows exploration of areas which have been hidden by surface material which may be hiding new mineral deposits."

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