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July 2023

In this edition:
  • New snapshot of Victoria’s mines and mineral exploration
  • Lifting the profile of Victoria's critical minerals
  • Unearthing the geological architecture between Shepparton and Numurkah
  • Getting to know the Geological Survey of Victoria’s Drill Core Library
  • GSV supporting industry events
  • Industry news
New snapshot of Victoria’s mines and mineral exploration
Geologists wearing bright orange working together on materials out in bushland

The GSV has updated its mines and mineral exploration map. The map shows locations of current mines, exploration projects and selected mineral occurrences on a background of 1:1,000,000 seamless geology and the digital terrain model.

The map demonstrates Victoria’s claim as a world class gold production province and an emerging region for critical minerals (and copper) project development.

Visit Prospectivity - Earth Resources to download a larger version of the map.

Lifting the profile of Victoria's critical minerals

Regional Victoria is home to some of the world’s most in-demand critical minerals. These include antimony, titanium, zirconium and rare earth elements (REE). Mineral sand deposits in northwest Victoria host some of the highest economically demonstrated resources in the world of ilmenite, rutile and zircon, which occur with REE-bearing minerals.

To support mineral sands projects in the northwest, the Geological Survey of Victoria (GSV) hosted a round table in collaboration with the Wimmera and Southern Mallee Development Association in Horsham earlier this year. The meeting brought together regional mineral sand proponents and representatives from government agencies. 

The day provided the opportunity for GSV to learn about the priorities of the region and better understand the opportunities and challenges that the projects are facing.

The Victorian Government provided $7.4 million in the 2022-23 State budget to increase its focus and support for the development of critical minerals production and potential downstream processing.

As part of the budget initiative, the GSV is acquiring new critical minerals geoscience data and knowledge from several technical studies and collaborations. Policy and investment facilitation functions in the Resources Branch have also been strengthened to investigate potential reform and support for the industry. A community and stakeholder engagement program is supporting the GSV’s activities in the region.

Unearthing the geological architecture between Shepparton and Numurkah

The GSV and Geoscience Australia (GA) are collaborating in 2023 to acquire a ground gravity survey across the Victorian Riverine Plain. The survey is centred on the Shepparton to Numurkah region and will provide new geophysical data at semi-regional spacing between the 2007 Bendigo-Mitiamo Survey and the Eastern Highlands of Victoria (see here for details about the Victorian Government's airborne gravity survey across Greater Melbourne and eastern Victoria).

The Shepparton-Numurkah Regional Ground Gravity Survey extends regional geoscientific work previously undertaken by the GSV and GA along the Southeast Lachlan Crustal Transect. The survey will help improve the geological understanding of northern and eastern Victoria and how it has evolved over the past 500 million years.

The survey is expected to run from July-December 2023, with results to be uploaded to the Earth Resources and Geoscience Australia websites when available.

Getting to know the Geological Survey of Victoria’s Drill Core Library

The GSV Drill Core Library (DCL) contains samples from over 18,000 wells and drillholes from across the state, the staggering equivalent of around 1.5 million metres of core. The collection is an invaluable geoscientific asset that allows rock and mineral samples to be studied and reanalysed with minimal impact to the earth. The DCL contains samples obtained through the GSV’s work as well as drill core donated by industry.

The DCL is continually adding to the collection of drill core photography. Recently photographed drill holes, targeting gold and base metals, from the Grampians-Stavely Zone can be found below. Select the GSV tab when the page opens:

965244 PRC-1
966006 PRC-3 
976430 Stavely 2 
976436 Stavely 9
976437 Stavely 10 
980951 STD002 
981346 GG-01 
907777 VICT1D4 

If you would like to visit the DCL to view drill core, or to enquire about drill core donation, please email Public visits are by appointment only.

Meet Shannon

Shannon works for the GSV at the DCL as the Geoscientist – Drilling Information. She’s one of the team members you may speak to if you are interested in visiting the DCL to view or sample core. We asked Shannon a few questions about her job.

How long have you been with the GSV and what is your background?
I’ve been with the GSV for about 5 months. I completed my honours in structural geophysics and worked for several exploration companies during and after university, mostly exploring for gold. I also have a background in science education. I spent the last couple of years teaching science in primary schools and writing content for high school textbooks.

What do you love most about your role at the DCL?
I really love that I get to work with clients from so many industries. One week we might host an academic completing detailed core logging, and the next we’ll have an exploration geologist in to collect samples for assays. It changes all the time. It’s really satisfying being able to help people find information to assist their projects.

What is the most interesting thing you’ve found at the DCL?
We have some incredible core from the 1890s, with all the glued-on labels still in great condition. We also see some amazing fossils and mineralisation here too. People come to view core from all over Victoria so it’s pretty breathtaking the variety we see every day.

GSV supporting industry events
Cutting Edge

Almost 300 people from across the resources sector came together on 9 May 2023 to hear industry and government addresses as part of the Melbourne Mining Club’s first-ever Victorian Critical Minerals Showcase.

The GSV kicked off the evening, with geologist Sam Waugh discussing 'Tin and Tungsten in Victoria: Yesterday’s contaminants become tomorrow’s critical minerals'.

He highlighted that the GSV is currently focusing its scientific studies on a range of critical minerals whose presence in Victoria is not well understood. A better understanding of the mineral systems could help increase Victoria's capability to supply more critical minerals in the future.

Showcase presentations also featured Southern Cross Gold’s Managing Director Michael Hudson talking about antimony, VHM Limited’s Managing Director Graham Howard discussing mineral sands, and ACDC Metals’ Executive Director Mark Saxon presenting on rare earth elements. Each detailed their work program and the opportunities for their project.

The Victorian Government is a proud supporter of the Melbourne Mining Club’s initiatives, which provide a forum for small-to mid-cap exploration and development companies to speak in an informal gathering.

GSV’s tin and tungsten presentation can be viewed here.

AIG Victorian Minerals Round-up

The Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) Victorian Minerals Round-up took more than 250 attendees on a deep-dive into Victoria’s minerals sector on 22-23 June in Ballarat. The event showcased emerging and established exploration and development projects and provided insights into best practice.

The GSV, the event’s proud geoscience partner, took to the stage twice to share its important work in the sector, additionally taking a selection of core from its Drill Core Library to exhibit alongside 20 mineral exploration projects from across the state.

Manager of Basement Geoscience Cameron Cairns’ presentation, “Victoria’s pre-competitive geoscience - who, what, why,” provided an update on the progress of the pre-competitive applied geoscience that is being undertaken by team GSV and research collaborators across multiple active projects from regional to the deposit-scale, including Exploring for the Future with Geoscience Australia, critical minerals with CSIRO and the MinEx Co-operative Research Centre, the world’s largest mineral exploration collaboration.

Senior Geophysicist, Acquisition Suzanne Haydon’s presentation, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - applying Bob the Builder's philosophy to Victorian exploration data collection”, showed attendees how drawing on GSV’s resources, including GeoVic, GSV Catalogue and Earth Resources Catalogue to access a range of existing geophysical data, could enable more efficient and effective work processes for industry. GSV’s slides can be found on the Earth Resources website as well as the AIG website, alongside all other presentations. 

The GSV acknowledges the efforts of the AIG and the event’s sponsors in staging such a successful event and thanks industry for providing access to drill core and associated data that continue to enrich Victoria's geoscience knowledge and offerings.

Melbourne Mining Club luncheon

Sanjeev Gandhi, MD & CEO of Orica, was the Melbourne Mining Club’s keynote speaker at their most recent Melbourne Town Hall luncheon on 1 June.

His presentation, “Enabling a decarbonised future through innovation,” detailed Orica’s pathway to net zero by 2050 as well as the role the company is playing in the circular economy.

A recording of Sanjeev’s oration as well as a PDF of his presentation can be found here.

The next luncheon will be held on 1 August, with Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm headlining the event. Tickets can be purchased here.

World Mining Conference

The triennial World Mining Congress landed in Brisbane from 26-29 June 2023, giving over 3,500 attendees from across the globe the opportunity to meet, find new partners, discuss challenges, and share research, technologies, and best practice.

The event was held in Australia for the first time, a reflection of its strong reputation as a leading industrialised country supplying a wide range of minerals, energy and mining services to the global market.

Kate Bassano, Manager, Exploration and Development and Chris Rowland, Critical Minerals Investment Specialist, represented the GSV and in conjunction with Australia Minerals, presented a seminar and panel discussion, “Face the future: What would the world look like without enough copper”.

The seminar highlighted the dire need for critical minerals for the energy transition, noting without mining the world won’t reach the net zero targets proposed by governments around the globe.

Diggers and Dealers

Manager of Basement Geoscience, Cameron Cairns and Critical Minerals Investment Specialist, Chris Rowland will attend Kalgoorlie’s Diggers & Dealers mining forum from 7-9 August 2023, ensuring the GSV has the opportunity to capitalise on industry interest and promote emerging mineral exploration opportunities in regional Victoria.

The conference is widely recognised as one of Australia’s premier events for minerals exploration and mining companies to investigate new investment opportunities. It is highly regarded and well attended by senior executives from mid-tier and larger multinational mining companies, as well as quality local explorers.

Dr Linda Yueh, an adviser to the UK Board of Trade and a board director at a number of LSE-listed companies, will deliver the keynote address. The event will also house over 160 exhibitors from the resources sector.

Tickets are available on the Diggers and Dealers website.

Accolades for GSV’s geoscientists

GSV’s geophysics and geological modelling team headed north to Brisbane in March to attend the Australasian Exploration Geoscience Conference.

Phil Skladzien, Matt Boyd, Suzanne Haydon and Mark McLean showcased GSV’s latest projects, including:

  • Using ground gravity modelling to constrain deep crustal seismic interpretations in northeast Victoria
  • Combining seismic and conceptual interpretations to understand rift structures in the Otway Basin
  • Using new magnetotelluric data for insight into the deep crust across the Delamerian Orogen
  • 3D inversion modelling of airborne gravity gradiometry data in the Otway Basin

The GSV received two awards at the conference; Phil Skladzien was awarded ‘Best Poster’ in the minerals stream and Mark McLean was awarded ‘Best Oral Presentation’ in the petroleum stream. Congratulations Phil and Mark!

Further information on the presentations has been published in the April edition of the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists publication, Preview.

Industry news

ACDC Metals

6 July 2023: ACDC Metals Advances Rare Earth Metals Strategy
13 June 2023: Mineralogical study highlights Goschen Central as exceptional mineral sands project
6 June 2023: ACDC Metals intersects multiple high grade heavy mineral sand intervals at the Goschen Central Project, Victoria
25 May 2023: ACDC Metals completes drill program of its rare earth elements and minerals sands projects in western Victoria

A.I.S. Resources

16 May 2023: A.I.S. Resources maiden drill program intersects high-grade visible gold at Golden Bar Prospect Bright, Victoria, Australia

Aeris Resources

18 April 2023: Group Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve Statement

Astron Corporation

27 June 2023: Donald Rare Earth and Minerals Sands Project RL2002 ore reserve update and project financial update
19 May 2023: $7 million placement to sophisticated investor
25 April 2023: Donald Rare Earth and Mineral Sands Project Phase 1 Definitive Feasibility Study
31 March 2023: Donald Rare Earth and Mineral Sands Project - Phase 1 Project Ore Reserves

Battery Minerals

4 July 2023: Aircore defines wide gold zones at Frankfurt in White Rabbit District
9 June 2023: Maiden diamond drilling identifies visible gold associated with intrusion-related gold system in the White Rabbit district
22 May 2023: Maiden diamond drilling program commences in White Rabbit district

Catalyst Metals

15 June 2023: Maiden Mineral Resource 163,000oz, including Iris Zone at 70,000oz at 26g/t Au

Dart Mining

22 June 2023: First assay results from phase 1 drilling confirms lithium mineralisation under the A$12 million SQM earn in agreement
30 May 2023: Dorchap lithium drilling update
19 May 2023: Gold-antimony-arsenic association identified at Rushworh Gold Project

Falcon Metals

14 June 2023: Targets upgraded at the Pyramid Hill Gold Project
26 April 2023: Gold anomalies identified over multiple kilometres at Pyramid Hill

13 June 2023: Successful drilling intersect extensive near surface gold bearing system
9 May 2023: Drilling commences at the Haunted Stream Gold Project, Victoria

Mandalay Resources

13 July 2023: Mandalay Resources announces production and sales results for the second quarter of 2023 and revised full-year 2023 guidance

Kaiser Reef

29 May 2023: Diamond drilling extends historic Welcome Reef – including an intercept grading 4.4m @ 118 g/t gold

Nagambie Resources

3 July 2023: Progress report
22 May 2023: Antimony-gold mineable intersections increased to 29
12 April 2023: Antimony-gold modelling, exploration decline design and regional exploration

Navarre Minerals

23 June 2023: Appointment of receivers and managers for NMQ
4 April 2023: Annual Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve Statement

Nexus Minerals

29 March 2023: Nexus granted tenure over VIC/NSW critical minerals exploration package

North Stawell Minerals

29 June 2023: Wildwood Mineral Resources Update lifts grade, ounces, confidence and opportunity
9 May 2023: Update on air core success at Challenger Prospect

Novo Resources

28 June 2023: Discovery success supported by strategic partnership driving shareholder value

Resource Base

5 July 2023: Extractions up to 70% of magnet rare earths at Mitre Hill

S2 Resources

4 July 2023: S2 and Taungurang traditional owners sign landmark agreement at Fosterville

Southern Cross Gold

19 July 2023: SXG acquires high-grade Laura drill discovery at Redcastle
3 July 2023: SXG intersects 0.6m @ 161.6 g/t AuEq from new vein at Sunday Creek
1 June 2023: SXG intersects third best hole, 10.4m @ 22.4 g/t AuEq at Sunday Creek
16 May 2023: SXG intersects 1.2m @ 121.8g/t gold in deepest hole
1 May 2023: SXG intersects 14.6m @ 7.3 g/t AuEq Including 1.0m @73.8 g/t AuEq
30 March 2023: SXG intersects 249.5 g/t gold over 0.3 m from 691 metres in 270 metre step out with abundant visible gold at Sunday Creek

Stavely Minerals

28 June 2023: Successful A$3.55 Million Placement
31 May 2023: Thursday’s Gossan porphyry target – drilling update
26 May 2023: Large new gold-silver mineralised breccia system identified in diamond drilling at the S41 prospect
19 April 2023: New gold and silver hits from air-core drilling highlight emerging regional discovery opportunities

VHM Limited

6 June 2023: Pilot hydromet plant delivers exceptional recoveries of mixed rare earth carbonate
16 May 2023: “Cannie”, a new deposit adding over 40% to VHM’s rare earth Mineral Resource inventory
1 May 2023: VHM secures MOU with Swan Hill Rural City Council
18 April 2023: Phase 1 Goschen Project Development advances with design engineer appointed


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