Skip to content

BHP's planned Olympic Dam expansion to increase output of copper ¦ Amendments to exclusion periods for WPA access zones, issued February 2019 ¦ Mineral Resources Division is now based at level 4, 11 Waymouth Street, Adelaide 5000

New Australian ore deposits

Includes updates on key South Australian deposits.

The sixth edition of Australian ore deposits, edited by Neil Phillips, was published in September 2017 by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM). It describes the geology of the main mineral deposits in Australia, and is presented as a single volume of 900 pages.

There is a short introductory section of overview papers on topics of current interest to exploration professionals operating in Australia followed by reviews on selected Australian commodities including critical metals, pegmatite-hosted rare earths, gold, and heavy mineral sands. The majority of deposit descriptions are arranged by geological province. An overview of the geological setting and metallogeny for each province precedes the individual deposit descriptions. In all, 150 deposits are described, with 12 papers outlining the geology and metallogenic setting.

Sixteen papers on South Australian deposits or mineralised districts are included and encompass:

  • geology of major copper–gold mines in the Gawler Craton at Olympic Dam, Prominent Hill and Carrapateena (presented as extended summaries)
  • gold, silver, lead–zinc, iron ore and graphite deposits in the Gawler Craton
  • copper, magnesite and zinc deposits in Neoproterozoic to Cambrian rocks of the Delamerian Orogen
  • copper–gold, magnetite and uranium deposits in the region of the Curnamona Province
  • heavy mineral sand resources (Australia-wide review).

A further four papers describe the geology of key mineral provinces in South Australia.


The first edition was published in 1953, and subsequent editions have given a snapshot of the main mineral deposits in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea (PNG). Over the years the volumes have expanded in size and the coverage has become more restricted, such that the fifth edition, Monograph 22, published in 1998, described recent mineral discoveries in Australia and PNG only, and excluded coal and petroleum. The sixth edition is published as Monograph 32.

Staff at the Geological Survey of South Australia assisted with recruiting industry contacts to prepare papers, acted as reviewers, and co-authored four deposit summaries and four overview papers on province geology and metallogeny, including the review of Australian heavy mineral sand resources.

Papers for the monograph were prepared under the guidance of the steering committee and were requested to be descriptive and long-lasting in their focus with the objective of providing a factual reference volume with a long shelf life. This was a hallmark of earlier volumes, and the emphasis on a concise summary of key information for individual deposits is maintained in the new edition.

  • Copies can be purchased through the AusIMM website. Price varies from $176 (PDF) to $209 (hard copy). Discounts apply to AusIMM members and students.
  • View the list of South Australian papers on the Geoscience Library webpage. Go to Phillips (2017).

– John Keeling

Back to news articles