Schodde RC, "Giant Ore Deposits: Why they are important!". Presentation to the 2010 Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank on Searching the Deep Earth: The Future of Australian Resource Discovery and Utilisation organized by the Australian Academy of Science, Shine Dome, Canberra, August 2010.
The Australian Academy of Science views the Mining Sector as the foundation of Australia's economy. Of concern though is that, while exploration expenditure is on the rise, exploration success is declining. To reverse this trend, the Academy hosted a special Think Tank session in Canberra and invited over one hundred of the Country's brightest young geologists and researchers to develop a strategic roadmap to Sustain Australia's wealth for the next century.
To help set the scene for the Think Tank, I gave a brief presentation on why giant orebodies are important. In short, while rare, they host most of the wealth! The real challenge to Australia is the need to improve our discovery rate of world-class mines. The key to this is:
Following the Session I also prepared a number of charts for inclusion in the Executive Summary. These showed that there is a clear trend in Australia towards finding deposits under deeper cover. However most of these discoveries are within established mining districts. As a consequence, contrary to perceived wisdom, much of Australia is under-explored and well-placed to host giant deposits. However we need to develop the tools and techniques to find and develop them.
The Think Tank identified the following six key initiatives:
The full proceedings and Executive Summary from the workshop can be downloaded at: http://www.science.org.au/events/thinktank/thinktank2010/index.html