An Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) survey covering 17,395km of the Musgraves Ranges in South Australia has collected data indicating groundwater resource potential which could be used to unlock the economic potential of the state’s Far North West.

The data will give regional communities access to information regarding groundwater resource potential and will help exploration companies target potential underground resources within the area.

The Musgrave AEM survey was conducted in partnership with Geoscience Australia under the State-Federal National Collaboration Framework and with the Goyder Institute of Water Research. The Goyder Institute intend to build on this survey by drilling hydrogeological wells to validate the AEM data.

The preliminary survey image represents a depth slice at 80 to 110m below the surface with colours corresponding to the relative electrical conductivity of the ground. The results clearly show features that correspond to underground water networks (paleochannels).

Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy, Tom Koutsantonis, said the South Australian Government funded the survey to give communities and resource businesses the tools they need to unlock economic potential in the region.

Exploration companies will have the ability to see through the overlying cover and better understand the mineral potential of this highly prospective yet underexplored area of South Australia,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“By providing a better understanding of the mineral and groundwater potential of the Musgraves we can encourage exploration companies to invest in our regions and create jobs for regional South Australians.

“This survey will also help narrow the search for high-quality groundwater resources, which will have a wide range of benefits for regional communities.”

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