Building Australia's Resource Wealth


Australia’s mineral and energy resources are a major contributor to the nation’s wealth, economically and socially; annual export earnings will exceed $270b in 2018–19. Understanding Australia’s 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

Geoscience Australia supports the responsible development of a diverse resources sector in Australia’s low-carbon economy.

10 Year Targets

  • We will map and understand Australia’s energy resources, reversing Australia’s increasing dependence on oil imports, and increase domestic gas supplies.
  • We will stimulate mineral exploration investment, including critical minerals, to open up new producing provinces with mineral endowment worth over $100b.
  • We will support the establishment of commercial carbon capture and storage and hydrogen industries to ensure Australia meets its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
  • We will provide geoscience information to support new mineral and energy exploration technologies, and drive new discoveries.

Work Activities and Capability

Exploring for the Future

Exploring for the Future is a four-year (2016-2020) program stimulating exploration investment to open up new mineral and energy producing regions in northern Australia.

This work has provided a vastly improved understanding of the resource potential in northern Australia and has generated industry investment that will lead to sustainable economic development into the future. New data, maps, information and knowledge have renewed confidence in investing in Australia, ensuring new resource discoveries maintain Australia’s position as a major global mineral and energy exporter.

The program also supports Australia's environmental outcomes, ensuring the management of groundwater resources are underpinned by scientific evidence, communities have access to groundwater resources, and the development of sustainable agriculture is supported.

Geoscience Australia will continue to deliver new geoscience data, knowledge and decision support tools that support increased industry investment and sustainable economic development to a wider range of stakeholders.

Energy Pre-Competitive Information

To increase domestic oil and gas supplies and reduce our dependence on oil imports, the Energy Pre-Competitive Information program underpins the establishment of new energy producing provinces in onshore and offshore Australia.

The program achieves this by enhancing our understanding of Australia’s energy resource potential through the provision of pre-competitive data, information and knowledge that significantly lowers the technical risk for private sector exploration investment. This enhances our reputation as an attractive destination for investment in a globally competitive resources sector. The new data and information generated by this program enables private industry to explore and invest in Australia with confidence, maintaining a pipeline of new discoveries and assisting in enhancing Australia’s long-term energy supply and security.

The program is also pivotal to Australia developing a more diverse energy sector, characterised by sustainable oil and gas development, commercial carbon capture, utilisation and storage, and hydrogen development, which supports our transition to a lower carbon economy.

Minerals Pre-Competitive Information

To realise $100b of new mineral resource discoveries in Australia the Minerals Pre-Competitive Information program stimulates exploration investment in greenfield (unexplored) regions, focusing especially in areas under cover where thick layers of sediment can conceal large deposits.

The program achieves this by acquiring and delivering pre-competitive data, maps, information and knowledge to enable private industry to explore and invest in Australia with confidence and maintain the pipeline of new discoveries, including critical and strategic minerals to advance development of new and emerging technologies.

Universal access to this publicly available information is one of Australia’s competitive advantages and underpins our position as a globally attractive destination for exploration investment in the resources sector.

Resources Advice and Promotion

The Resources Advice and Promotion program supports an evidence-based policy and decision making environment that underpins the long-term sustainability of Australia’s resource sector, helping to safeguard our future economic prosperity.

The program achieves this by providing authoritative, independent information and advice to the Australian Government and other stakeholders on our mineral and energy resources and reserves. This advice enables the Australian Government and industry to make strategic decisions about growing our domestic energy and mineral supplies and production. Geoscience advice and information from this program also contributes to the establishment of carbon capture, utilisation and storage, and hydrogen industries, supporting Australia meets its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

Through this program Geoscience Australia also collaborates with state and Northern Territory governments to promote Australia’s resource exploration and investment opportunities. This attracts investment into the sector by private companies by highlighting the exploration opportunities created by the acquisition and provision of pre-competitive data, information and knowledge. This investment opens up new resource producing regions, including for critical and strategically important minerals.

Strategic Priorities and Performance Criteria

Geoscience Australia’s work program impacts six key areas of society. For each area, the environmental context, the role of the organisation, the long-term targets, and the work program activities and capabilities are described.

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.

Performance Measures 2019-2020 2020-2021 2021-2022 2022-2023
Exploring for the Future        
Program deliverables        
Release of pre-competitive information      
Deliver integrated resource assessment for northern Australia      
Energy Pre-Competitive Information        
Program deliverables        
Deliver geological studies of the evolution and resource potential of onshore and offshore energy systems
Minerals Pre-Competitive Information        
Program deliverables        
Deliver new pre-competitive data from greenfield undercover regions
Deliver geological studies of the evolution and resource potential of undercover regions
Resources Advice and Promotion        
Program deliverables        
Promote and attract investment into the Australian mineral and energy resource sectors
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
Deliver precompetitive information and develop an increased understanding on CO2 sequestration
Program key performance indicators        
Provide advice in relation to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 within the stated response period 100% 100% 100% 100%
Case Study
Promoting investment in Australia’s mineral sector
This case study will demonstrate how Geoscience Australia’s leadership and direction shapes Australia’s promotion of its mineral investment opportunities
The Australia Minerals promotional program aims to stimulate investment from around the globe in Australia’s excellent resource opportunities. The case study will review the Australian Mineral promotional program and Geoscience Australia’s key role in shaping an investment attraction strategy and its subsequent implementation. It will draw on outcomes of promotional events, partner feedback and follow-ups from stakeholders to demonstrate the value of Geoscience Australia’s contribution to Commonwealth promotion of investment in the resource sector