Critical mineral potential boosted in NSW

The results will be used to enhance the understanding of NSW’s geological composition.
The results will be used to enhance the understanding of NSW’s geological composition.

A major step has been taken towards unlocking critical minerals and high-tech metals in NSW with results from a new mapping exercise now available.

Over 18 months, eight aircraft captured data across more than 148,000km2, around one-sixth of the state. This work also included using sound waves to delve up to 50km beneath the surface.

The surveys can map large areas of land with minimal disruption to the environment to help better understand the geology and possible uncover groundwater aquifers.

A number of areas were highlighted for further exploration, including around Forbes, Yathong, Cobar and Dubbo.

Undertaken in collaboration with Geoscience Australia, the data will be used to help enhance the understanding of the geological composition and structure of NSW.

This data is free and publicly available to view and represents a significant milestone in enhancing the understanding of the state’s geology. It will also play key role in unlocking new mining projects for decades to come.

NSW Natural Resources Minister Courtney Houssos commented on the future of critical minerals.

“Critical minerals are crucial to the future of the global pathway to net zero and growing employment in regional New South Wales,” she said.

“These surveys are an important piece of the puzzle in developing our understanding of the state’s geological properties and groundwater supplies.”

According to the International Energy Agency, the demand for critical minerals from clean energy technologies will surpass $400bpa by 2050.

Critical minerals and high-tech metals are key components in solar panels, electric vehicle batteries and wind turbines, amongst others. These metals are crucial to the energy transition to help put downwards pressure on both emissions and power prices.