Project 8: Geological Architecture and Evolution


Anthony Budd (Geoscience Australia)


Rian Dutch (Geological Survey of South Australia)




  • Juraj Farkas (University of Adelaide)
  • Martin Hand (University of Adelaide)
  • Stijn Glorie (University of Adelaide)
  • Alastair Hack (University of Newcastle)
  • David Boutelier (University of Newcastle)
  • Richard Bush (University of Newcastle)
  • Caroline Tiddy (UniSA)
  • Justin Payne (UniSA)
  • Laura Morrissey (UniSA)
  • Chris Clark (Curtin University)
  • Chris Kirkland (Curtin University)
  • Marnie Forster (The Australian National University)
  • Rob Thorne (CSIRO)
  • Teaghan Blakey (CSIRO)
  • Nathan Reid (CSIRO)



  • Andrew King (CSIRO)
  • Richard Chopping (Geological Survey of Western Australia)
  • David Kelsey (Geological Survey of Western Australia)
  • Nadir De Souza Kovacs (Geological Survey of Western Australia)
  • Chris Folkes (Geological Survey of New South Wales)
  • Anthony Schofield (Geoscience Australia)
  • Ian Roach (Geoscience Australia)
  • Amber Jarrett (Geoscience Australia)
  • Anthony Reid (Geological Survey of South Australia)
  • Tom Wise (Geological Survey of South Australia)
  • Mark Pawley (Geological Survey of South Australia)
  • Stacey Curtis (Geological Survey of South Australia)
  • Kate Robertson (Geological Survey of South Australia)
  • Rian Dutch (Geological Survey of South Australia)
  • Claire Wade (Geological Survey of South Australia)


Phase 1:
1 January 2019 - 31 December 2021

Cash Funding:


Project Participants:

Research Participants:

  • Curtin University
  • University of Adelaide
  • Australian National University
  • University of South Australia
  • University of Newcastle

Geological Survey Participants:

  • Geological Survey of New South Wales
  • Geological Survey of South Australia
  • Geological Survey of Western Australia
  • Geoscience Australia
  • Geological Survey of Queensland
  • Geological Survey of Victoria
  • Mineral Resources Tasmania
  • Northern Territory Geological Survey

Project Summary:

The mission of the National Drilling Initiative (NDI) is to drill multiple holes in several case study areas to map the regional geology and architecture and define the potential for new mineral systems in 3D.

Project 8 aims to provide new geoscience data and knowledge in the NDI case study areas via integration of geophysics and petrophysics, regolith and hydrogeology, alteration signatures, basin analysis, and igneous and metamorphic analysis. These new data will aid in the construction of 3D geological models and 4D reconstructions of the geological evolution of the case study areas and aid in the identification of known and potential mineral systems within. New technologies and methodologies will be developed and leveraged to change mineral exploration practices in under-cover regions. Project 8 will provide advice to assist program design for future drilling in covered terranes, including within the NDI case study areas.

Phase 1 Objectives:

The objectives of Project 8 can be divided into five themes, which also provide structure to the Project 8 research strategy:

A. Petrophysics to Geophysics: Develop workflows to incorporate geological and petrophysical data into geophysical models in order to better understand the distribution and geometry of geological units and more accuratly map key boundaries in the cover and basement (e.g. the basement/cover interface), geared to better understand mineral systems.

B. Regolith and Hydrogeology: Develop the means of efficiently mapping buried geology by understanding its expression through cover sequences. Define and understand the relationships between cover, basement (including depth to crystalline basement) and their regolith to reconstruct landscape evolution through time through new knowledge of mineralogy, geochemistry, petrophysics, hydrology and geochronology.

C. Basin Analysis: Develop a chronostratigraphic and basin architecture framework for basins in the NDI case study areas and include data relevant to the location of (and exploration for) mineral deposits within or beneath the basins. Geometry of key boundaries, structures and fluid pathways will be defined by drilling and better constrained geophysical models.

D. Igneous and Metamorphic: Investigate and map the basement geology in the NDI case study areas using structural analysis, petrology, geochemistry, isotopes and geochronology from drilling samples linked to drillhole imaging and geophysical interpretation.

E. Signatures of Alteration: Identify and map the mineralogical and geochemical signatures of alteration related to mineralisation and developing techniques to rapidly and efficiently recognise those signatures in geological, petrophysical and geophysical datasets.


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