Dec 17, 2020

National Drilling Initiative makes headway

National Drilling Initiative makes headway Drilling equipment en route for the MinEx CRC NDI Drilling Program.

MinEx CRC has successfully completed its first National Drilling Initiative (NDI) campaigns, including a 1750m drill hole near the Northern Territory/Queensland border.

The NDI Carrara 1 hole, about 250km north-west of Mount Isa, was designed to capture geological and stratigraphic information from a previously unknown sedimentary basin.

The drill hole is part of a world-first scientific drilling program, the National Drilling Initiative (NDI), involving Geoscience Australia and geological survey organisations in every state and territory.

It is designed to understand the evolution of the Australian continent, provide clues about where to search for new mineral deposits and bring forward the next generation of mineral exploration technology.

A 10-hole, 4000m drilling campaign was also recently successfully completed in the East Tennant area of the NT, to assess the mineral potential of basement rocks in the region.

Initial results indicate NDI Carrara 1 intersected rocks of the Georgina Basin, possibly the South Nicholson Basin, and terminated in the Paleoproterozoic Isa Superbasin package.

NT Geological Survey executive director Ian Scrimgeour said the drill hole would help geologists understand the relationship between various basins and the Lawn Hill Platform.

“The relationship between the resource-rich Beetaloo Sub-basin and McArthur Basin with the underexplored South Nicholson Basin and Lawn Hill Platform has long been speculated,” he said.

“Carrara-1 will be crucial in answering this question and improving the understanding of the mineral and petroleum potential of this greenfields area.”

A detailed suite of in situ petrophysical logs were acquired during the drilling program and a variety of measurements will be undertaken on the physical samples, including age dating and geochemical analyses to better characterise the stratigraphy and resource potential of the region.

Results will be released throughout 2021.