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Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) - advancing resource exploration and mining developments in South Australia

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PACE Copper

PACE Copper is the South Australian Government's newest precompetitive geoscience initiative. This $20 million investment has been specifically designed to lead the transformation of the South Australian mineral exploration industry over the next two years.

PACE Copper is deliberately outward looking, delivering the necessary information and opportunity to bring forward new discoveries and set the foundations for the next generation of mineral industry growth in South Australia.

The PACE Copper work program will deliver new data and information for exploration on the Gawler Craton and the state's far west and offer new levels of collaboration through the PACE Discovery Drilling program.

PACE Copper is the critical upstream component of South Australia's copper strategy driving the discovery of the new high-quality copper resources that will be required to meet the copper production goal of 1Mtpa by 2030.

More about the PACE Copper initiative and work program

About PACE

The Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) has a core focus on economic stimulation, accessibility to land, development of sustainable exploration and mining, increasing cultural awareness and balancing development with the environment.

It has been the driving force behind growth in the mining sector in South Australia:

  • Leveraging existing successes in exploration
  • Focusing on new areas for exploration
  • Developing best practice mine development processes.

PACE builds on South Australia's world-class service to the mining sector, providing online geological and geophysical information to support the industry in exploration.

The initiative has a direct line of sight through the resources value chain, working to streamline the process of exploration to mine development, ensuring a timely and transparent approval process.

PACE and the programs and projects it funds directly support and influence:

  • The capture and interpretation of regional geophysical precompetitive data sets (including gravity, magnetic, radiometric and electromagnetic datasets)
  • Innovative geoscience projects within the Geological Survey of South Australia
  • Collaborative geoscientific programs with the industry (including drilling), universities and state and federal government agencies
  • The distribution of new and historic geoscientific data to the industry, investors and the general public
  • Development of streamlined, best practice mining approval and development processes
  • The delivery of workshops, guidelines and toolkits that engage the industry with regional communities and landholders
  • Continued cultural exchanges between the regional communities, the industry and government
  • The promotion of South Australia’s mineral wealth, both nationally and internationally.

The success of that investment is now internationally recognised and the model has been emulated by other jurisdictions in Australia and overseas.

PACE was launched in April 2004 and quickly gained worldwide recognition as an extremely successful government mineral resources initiative.

Initially launched as a $22.5 million 5-year initiative, in 2007 PACE was extended by two years with an additional funding of $8.4 million bringing total funding to $30.9 million over 7 years (2004–2011).

PACE Frontiers

The PACE Frontiers work program included regional geophysical and geochemical surveys, mapping and drilling which delivered new data, research and technologies to direct and inform precompetitive regional mineral system drilling programs into the future.

The work programs were directed towards two main regions:

  • Eastern Gawler Craton Olympic Domain which is highly prospective for IOCG mineralisation in a deep cover setting. Although explorers have been attracted to the high prospectivity of the region the deep cover provides a high investment risk and technical challenge for exploration.
  • Western Gawler Craton–Eucla Basin which is one of Australia's greatest geological frontiers with sparse regional geological data and largely unknown geology. Other than extensive and successful minerals sands exploration within the Eucla Basin there has been limited exploration within the buried bedrock of this region, largely because of its poorly constrained characteristics and prospectivity.

The initial PACE Frontiers program includes the collection of new regional geophysical and geochemical data and a world-first Regional Minerals Systems drilling program in the eastern Gawler Craton in collaboration with the Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC) to test new, innovative drilling technologies and mineral system mapping, towards better exploration targeting methodologies.

PACE Frontiers also addresses some of the feedback, issues and suggestions presented in the PACE Evaluation report completed in April 2014.

For more information, contact:

Acting General Manager Geoscience Initiatives (PACE)
Chris Wilcox
+61 8 8463 3159
Christopher.wilcox@sa.gov.au