Geosciences, Australian minerals and Australian prosperity

May 10, 2024

The Australian Academy of Science welcomes the Australian Government’s renewed investment in Geoscience Australia (GA).

This investment will help drive our nation’s critical minerals industry through large-scale mapping and exploration.

Such a comprehensive exploration of Australia’s mineral wealth, surface and sub-surface, will require new scientific knowledge, data analysing capacity, tools and skills, however. 

The Chair of the Academy’s National Committee for Earth Sciences, Professor Ian Jackson, said the renewed funding of GA for precompetitive exploration represents a strong focus on identifying the extent and nature of Australia’s critical minerals and other vital resources like groundwater.

“But this must be supported by investments in building a stronger workforce. 

“Existing gaps must be reversed if we are to extract full value from the opportunities we have,” he said. 

For Australia to remain a significant player in the global resources industry, including in the critical minerals that drive the 21st-century economy, more resources must be provided for science and technology infrastructure, scientific research in the geosciences and training of geoscientists with sophisticated data management skills.

The UNCOVER initiative, led by the Australian Academy of Science, has provided the vision and accompanying framework for the necessary transformation of exploration geoscience.

A detailed UNCOVER roadmap, funded through Amira Global (formerly known as the Australian Mineral Industry Research Association), provides a comprehensive plan for the step-change needed to modernise the technologies to understand our land, revolutionise our understanding of subsurface geology and map our hidden mineral systems.

© 2024 Australian Academy of Science