AUSTRALIA’S national science agency CSIRO and the WA Government have teamed up to research mineralisation in the Yilgarn province, potentially unlocking new gold deposits in the area 400km east of Perth, WA.

The eastern Yilgarn region has historically had fewer gold discoveries than its neighbouring, richly endowed eastern Goldfields region, despite sharing Archean geology from over 2,500 million years ago.

Researchers discovered distinctive patterns in the chemical alteration of surrounding rocks during the formation of ancient gold deposits during the Archean period.

Through the Minerals Research Institute of WA (MRIWA), the WA Government has invested in research to support future mineral exploration and understand chemical patterns in ancient rocks.

WA mines and petroleum minister Bill Johnston said the discovery of these chemical signatures could greatly assist in exploration in the eastern Yilgarn.

“This research will help reduce the risk in targeting ore bodies buried beneath the surface, that conventional exploration has failed to identify, and will encourage investment in under-explored areas of WA,” Mr Johnston said.


“[We] are supporting the mineral exploration industry with the tools and insights needed to find the next generation of gold deposits.”

CSIRO mineral resources director Dr Rob Hough said their work supports Australian industry by translating science into mineral exploration.

“This research project is a great example of CSIRO’s close collaboration with the WA Government and MRIWA to support a productive, sustainable and globally competitive mineral resources industry for the benefit of Australia,” Dr Hough said.

“We have world leading research capabilities in Perth and welcome opportunities to develop minerals sector innovation in partnership with the industry and government.”

Industry sponsors of the research project include Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST), Gold Road Resources (ASX: GOR), Ramelius Resources (ASX: RMS), Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN), Blackham Resources (ASX: BLK), Echo Resources and Saracen Mineral Holdings (ASX: SAR).