A bold plan to search for water from the air in western New South Wales has proven to be a success.
- The aerial electromagnetic survey looks for water and minerals about 500 metres beneath the earth’s surface
- The initial survey, near Cobar, covered an area the size of Greater Sydney
- The NSW Government will extend the survey to search near Broken Hill
The aerial electromagnetic survey, which started in 2019 from Cobar to Rankins Springs, has found deposits of gold, copper and zin and untapped groundwater.
The survey searches for groundwater and minerals about 500 metres beneath the earth’s surface.
The original survey covered 19,000 square kilometres — about one and a half times the size of Greater Metropolitan Sydney.
The Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the initial results were very positive.
“To be able, in one way, strike it lucky first up and see there’s a resource — and the most valuable resource here is the water component, proves it’s a reasonable investment and why we are actually doing this,” he said.
“If we’re able to measure where there’s groundwater and, like I said we are measuring up to 400 metres below ground level, it does take some of that guess work out and de-risk the investment for a landowner or a farmer.”
The NSW government said it would now extend the search.
Exploration will continue in the Cobar area later this year and a new survey will be carried out in Mundi near Broken Hill from next month.
“Mining is critical to the NSW economy, it is responsible for half of our state’s export revenue and despite COVID-19 and other challenges, the sector has remained resilient, continuing to provide direct employment while indirectly supporting local businesses,” he said.
Explorers already drilling from data
Several mining and exploration companies are already using the public information to carry out licensed exploration.
One of those companies is Australian, Gold and Copper Limited.
Managing Director Glen Diemer said they have started drilling near Lake Cargelligo and the early results are positive.
“We intercepted a lot of water in our holes which our farmers were happy about and so were we,” he said.
“We have released some preliminary observations to the ASX.
“We’ve been one of the lucky ones, we’ve got in there over the past couple of weeks and done a bit of drilling.”
He said they will now likely look to explore deeper or apply for a mining licence from this exercise.