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The South Australian Government's $20 million PACE Copper initiative is focused on capturing precompetitive data with the aim of bringing forward mineral discoveries in the state

PACE Copper 2016-2017PACE Copper's comprehensive program of regional geoscience investigations and collaborative industry partnerships are designed to set the foundations for the next generation of resources industry growth and job creation in the services, supply and manufacturing sectors.

PACE Copper is a critical component of South Australia's Copper Strategy, committed to tripling the state's annual copper production by 2030 and supporting Australia's elevation to the third largest copper producer globally. The initiative plays a vital role in driving the exploration investment and discovery of the new high-quality resources required to meet South Australia's Copper production goal of one million tonnes a year by 2030.

Accelerating exploration, discovery and information is a key theme of the Copper Strategy and the core challenge of PACE Copper. The new research, technical innovations and contemporary datasets delivered through PACE Copper will underpin new exploration efforts for the discovery of the next generation of South Australia's world-class mineral projects.

More specifically PACE Copper will:

  • Deliver the world's largest high-resolution, airborne geophysical and terrain imaging program to rejuvenate exploration in South Australia's Copper Belt.
  • Encourage industry and government collaboration on new drilling targets.
  • Provide world-class data and analysis for the untouched minerals province in the state's Far West that will result in a major regional drilling program.
  • Aim to generate more than $400 million in private mineral exploration return for the state and create and retain up to 1000 direct and indirect jobs within the minerals industry and services sector.

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PACE Copper Programs


Next Generation Copper Discovery Program

Geophysics project 

Gawler Craton Airborne Survey

World's largest, high-resolution airborne geophysical and terrain imaging program as part of a 'regeneration' of exploration in the Gawler Craton.

Project background, aims and outcomes

GCAS program deliverable: 3D modelGCAS program deliverable: MESA Journal articleGCAS program deliverable: report bookGCAS program deliverable: dataGCAS program deliverable: map

Geophysics project

Olympic Domain Airborne Electromagnetics

Mapping cover across the Olympic Domain south of Olympic Dam using airborne electromagnetics to tie in with the Olympic Domain magnetotellurics project.

Project background, aims and outcomes

ODAE project deliverable - 3D modelODAE project deliverable - MESA journal articleODAE project deliverable - report bookODAE program deliverable - data

Geophysics project

Olympic Domain Magnetotellurics

Mapping beneath the Olympic Domain to characterise the mineral systems along the eastern margin of the Gawler Craton.

Project background, aims and outcomes

ODM project deliverable: 3D modelODM project deliverable: MESA Journal articleODM project deliverable: report bookODM project deliverable: data
PACE Copper program - drilling 

Mineral Systems Drilling Extension

Unlocking new understanding of mineral systems in the northern Eyre Peninsula and trial new technologies for more effective mineral exploration through cover.

Project background, aims and outcomes

MSDE project deliverable: 3D modelMSDE project deliverable: MESA Journal articleMSDE project deliverable: report bookMSDE project deliverable: data
PACE Copper program activity: modelling 

3D Data Integration Modelling

Three-dimensional geophysical model defining the geological setting of whole of South Australia to help explorers make more informed exploration decisions and bring forward new mineral discoveries.

Project background, aims and outcomes

3D DIM project deliverable: 3D model 3D DIM project deliverable: MESA journal article3D DIM project deliverable: report book
PACE Copper program activity: Geophysics 

Depth to basement mapping

Investigate new ways of processing geophysical data to see through cover and better understand the depth to the basement geology.

Project background, aims and outcomes

DBM project deliverable: 3D model DBM project deliverable: MESA journal articleDBM project deliverable: report book

PACE Discovery Drilling 2016

PACE Copper program - drilling

PACE Discovery Drilling 2016

Collaborative program of direct government investment in company exploration programs to bring forward new mineral discoveries.

Project background, aims and outcomes

PDD project deliverable: MESA journal articlePDD project deliverable: report bookPDD project deliverable: data

Far West Discovery Program

PACE Copper activity: geophysics 

Coompana Gravity

Detailed regional gravity survey to help determine the structure, geology and prospectivity of the basement geology beneath the Nullarbor Plains.

Project background, aims and outcomes

CG project deliverable: 3D modelCG project deliverable: dataCG project deliverable: map

PACE Copper program activity: drilling

Coompana Drilling

Regional stratigraphic drilling program to obtain new core samples from the greenfield frontier basement beneath the covered Nullarbor Plains

Project background, aims and outcomes

CD project deliverable: MESA Journal articleCD project deliverable: report bookCD project deliverable: data

PACE Copper activity: geophysics

Geophysical Cover Characterisations

Trialling new and existing geophysical techniques to determine depth to basement and cover types in the covered far west of South Australia.

Project background, aims and outcomes

GCC project deliverable: MESA journal articleGCC project deliverable: report bookGCC project deliverable: data

PACE Copper activity: geophysics

Fowler Domain Airborne Electromagnetics

Regional 5 km spaced Airborne Electromagnetic survey to map cover types and thickness over the prospective Fowler and western Christie Domains of the western Gawler Craton.

Project background, aims and outcomes

FDAE project deliverable: 3D modelFDAE project deliverable: MESA journal articleFDAE project deliverable: data
PACE Copper activity: geochemistry 

Far West Geochemistry

Regional geochemical and biogeochemical surveys to provide a new generation of mineral exploration targets in covered terrain.

Project background, aims and outcomes

FWG project deliverable: MESA journal articleFWG project deliverable: report bookFWG project deliverable: data

Far North Discovery Program

PACE Copper activity: geophysics

AusLAMP Deep Crustal Magnetotellurics

Finalise the coverage of the AusLAMP grid across the state to map the entire solid crust and mantle.

Project background, aims and outcomes

ADCM project deliverable: 3D modelADCM project deliverable: MESA journal articleADCM project deliverable: report bookADCM project deliverable: data

For more information, contact:

Chris Wilcox
General Manager – Geoscience Initiatives (PACE)
Department of the Premier and Cabinet
Level 4, 101 Grenfell Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: +61 8 8463 3159
Christopher.Wilcox@sa.gov.au