The State Government has today joined forces with key gold industry players and the CSIRO in a $1.685 million quest to extend the life of major mines and reveal sites for new operations.
Launching Pathways To High-Grade Ore: 3D Gradient Mapping Of Mineral Systems at Kalgoorlie-Boulder's historic Kanowna Belle gold mine, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the intensive, 12-month research project had a significant upside for mining industry jobs.
"This is an ideal time to build on current gold sector activity, by using our world-leading science to target known gold-rich zones," Mr Marmion said.
"Mining companies are helping sponsor the project because prolonging the life of proven operations is very cost-effective, especially when it comes to job security."
The Pathways project will analyse the earth's crust to develop 3D modelling of gold-bearing systems centred on important Eastern Goldfields geological faults, which host major existing and potential mine sites.
The State Government's Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA) is contributing $395,000, the main cash component of the project. Five gold producers are also contributing, with Kanowna Belle owner Northern Star Resources the major industry sponsor.
"These 3D models will guide exploration and mine expansion at sponsors' sites," the Minister said.
"While we wish industry sponsors like Northern Star a bright future, this research will also help point the way to new discoveries in promising greenfields areas such as the Yamarna greenstone belt, east of Laverton."
Dr John Walshe and Dr Adam Bath of the CSIRO's Mineral Resources Flagship will lead the research, building on their four previous Goldfields projects, which also received State Government funding.
"The Pathways project will start immediately and highlights the State Government's commitment to WA business and employment," Mr Marmion said.
"Extending gold discoveries in the legendary Yilgarn Craton will help sustain our vital Goldfields communities."
The Pathways To High-Grade Ore: 3D Gradient Mapping Of Mineral Systems project is funded by: MRIWA $395,000; Northern Star Resources $110,000; La Mancha Resources $40,000; Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd $15,000; Excelsior Gold Ltd $10,000; Ramelius Resources $10,000
The CSIRO will provide $1.105m in-kind funding, including sample preparation and analysis, data processing, scanning electron microscope analytics and 3D modelling
MRIWA is a statutory research funding body supported by $15m in State Government funding
Minister's office - 6552 6800