Building Australia's Resource Wealth


Australia's mineral and energy resources are a major contributor to the nation's wealth, both economically and socially. Understanding the available resources is a prerequisite for formulating sound policies on resources and land access.

Australia has a significant advantage in the production of resource commodities over other nations. This advantage stems from the rich and diverse mineral and energy endowment, the high quality regional-scale geoscience information that lowers the risks of exploration, advanced exploration, mining and processing technologies, a skilled work force, generally favourable physical environments, relatively stable economic conditions, enabling and robust legislative framework and low sovereign risk.

Our Role

Attract exploration investment to Australia by building a prospectus of minerals and energy resource potential.

Desired outcomes

  • Australia is an internationally competitive destination for minerals and energy resource investment.
  • Australia maintains its minerals and energy resources pipeline through new discoveries.
  • Australia's resources are optimised to benefit and contribute to the economy.
  • There is public confidence in the management of the minerals and energy resources sector.

Work Activities and Capability

Exploring for the Future

Exploring for the Future is a program investigating the mineral, energy and groundwater resource potential in northern Australia. This is an under-explored region and new geoscience data and knowledge increases confidence in investment and planning decisions encouraging future economic activity, leading to regional job opportunities and infrastructure investment.

Geoscience Australia will deliver a new body of geoscience data and decision-support tools, particularly in under-explored greenfield areas. This work will help maintain the resources pipeline through new discoveries and support Australia in being an internationally competitive destination to attract resource investment.

The delivery of new information will also support Australia's environmental outcomes, ensuring the management of Australia's groundwater resources is underpinned by scientific evidence, that communities have access to sustainable groundwater resources, and the development of sustainable agriculture is supported.

Energy Pre-Competitive Information

Resource exploration investment is needed to ensure the discovery and development of the next generation of oil and gas resources, both onshore and offshore. New discoveries also support regional development through economic growth and the creation of new jobs. Each year, the Australian Government releases selected offshore regions for petroleum exploration to industry. This is often supplemented by the release of onshore regions by the state and Northern Territory governments.

In support of this, Geoscience Australia generates a national prospectus of potential energy resources through new data acquisition and regional geological studies. This energy prospectus is vital to helping secure Australia's energy future, significantly lowering the risks for companies entering into Australia and enhancing Australia's reputation as an attractive destination for energy investment in a globally competitive resources market. Geoscience Australia takes a leadership role in the coordination of energy related geoscience activities across government entities and jurisdictions, including the establishment of standards and facilitation of survey acquisitions.

Minerals Pre-Competitive Information

The Australian Government aims to improve the success of mineral exploration in greenfield (unexplored) regions of Australia. Much of the Australian continent is covered by a thick layer of sediment, concealing potential mineral resources. Exploring under this cover is technically difficult, requiring innovation and development of new exploration methods.

Geoscience Australia will develop a national prospectus of mineral resource potential through the acquisition, analysis and delivery of pre-competitive geoscience information, for the purpose of attracting investment in the Australian mineral exploration sector.

The provision of high-quality geoscientific pre-competitive information lowers the risks for exploration companies and enhances Australia's reputation as an attractive destination for minerals investment in a globally competitive resources market. Geoscience Australia's work, in collaboration with state and Northern Territory governments, addresses fundamental data gaps and prospectivity questions in exploration areas.

Resources Advice and Promotion

The provision of advice and technical information to the Australian Government enables evidence-based decision making and policy development for mineral and energy resources.

Geoscience Australia undertakes promotional activities, often in collaboration with state and Northern Territory governments, to attract exploration investment to sustain the pipeline of resource development and investment.

Geoscience Australia provides authoritative, independent information and advice to the Australian Government and other stakeholders covering mineral commodities, oil and gas resources, and the geological storage of carbon dioxide. Advice is also to be provided on potential feasible locations for the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility and in support of evaluating the mineral resource potential of the Woomera Prohibited Area.

Strategic Priorities and Performance Criteria

Geoscience Australia's work program is delivered through six key strategic priority areas. Each priority area outlines the role of the organisation, the desired outcomes to be achieved, and the core work activities and capabilities.

Geoscience Australia's performance will be assessed using a number of qualitative and quantitative measures to communicate a comprehensive view of performance that will be presented in the organisation's annual performance statement. Performance measures will include assessment against key work deliverables, key performance indicators and case studies.

Deliverables 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Exploring for the Future        
Release of pre-competitive information    
Deliver integrated resource assessment for northern Australia    
Energy Pre-Competitive Information        
Deliver geological studies of the evolution and resource potential of onshore and offshore energy systems
Deliver assessments of the energy potential of the Geological and Bioregional Assessments program      
Deliver new offshore exploration acreage opportunities from Energy Systems pre-competitive program in annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage release
Minerals Pre-Competitive Resource        
Deliver new pre-competitive data from greenfield undercover regions
Deliver geological studies of the evolution and resource potential of undercover regions to support mineral exploration investment
Resources Advice and Promotion        
Deliver geological material to support the Offshore Petroleum Acreage Release
Deliver technical advice on mineral and energy resources, including the storage of CO2, to the Australian Government
Key Performance Indicators 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022
Provide advice in relation to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 within the stated response period 100% 100% 100% 100%