The three-week course provides world-class training in mineral exploration.

Week-long modules are held in Adelaide, the Adelaide Hills region, and Yorke Peninsula. The course is a mixture of classroom, laboratory and drill-core facility activities in the first week, followed by two field-site placements in the Adelaide Hills and Yorke Peninsula.

There is no formal assessment or credit for completing the course. Find out why you should do the course.

Learning objectives

  • The primary outcome of the program is that you will understand the challenges and opportunities of mineral exploration in Australia into the future, and have knowledge of the tools required to address these problems.
  • The program is centred on addressing the four key themes identified by UNCOVER as being the major knowledge areas to improve the success rate of tier 1 and 2 mineral system discoveries, particularly under areas of cover. These themes are:
    1. Characterising Australia’s cover – new knowledge to confidently explore beneath the cover.
    2. Investigating Australia’s lithospheric architecture – a whole-of-lithosphere architectural framework for mineral systems exploration.
    3. Resolving the 4D geodynamic and metallogenic evolution of Australia – understanding ore deposit origins for better prediction
    4. Characterising and detecting the distal footprints of ore deposits – towards a toolkit for minerals exploration.
  • Under each theme, the advanced discipline skills identified by the Minerals Tertiary Education Council (MTEC) are examined to highlight how they relate to the UNCOVER priority themes.

WEEK 1. South Australia Drill Core Reference Library, Tonsley

Monday 26 November – Saturday 1 December, 2018

The Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA) has a state-of-the-art Drill Core Reference Library, together with teaching and visualisation facilities, at Tonsley in Adelaide. This is where NExUS will kick off.

Activities will include:

  • various presentations about UNCOVER, the Australian initiative focusing geoscience effort on exploration under post-mineralisation cover
  • hands-on exercises at the new Drill Core Library
  • sessions in the Visualisation Suite
  • sessions with the analytical facilities at Adelaide Microscopy.

There will be social events during the week, and possibly a day at a Test Match at the Adelaide Oval.


WEEK 2. Field trip, Adelaide Hills

Sunday 2 December – Saturday 8 December, 2018

We will start on a field trip through MacLaren Vale to see its regional tectonics and structural geology. 

The focus will be on deep exploration technology (such as coil tube drilling and lab-at-rig), a mine-site visit and geophysical and geochemical data collections over Hillgrove’s prospects. 

There will be talks and social events in the evenings by industry people covering professional matters such as heritage clearances, cultural and gender diversity in the minerals industry, safety and economics.

We will return to Adelaide for a free day on Saturday 8 December.

Image shows a prototype rig at the Brukunga Drilling Research and Training facility (Australian Mining).


WEEK 3. Company visit and field trip, Yorke Peninsula

Sunday 9 December – Friday 14 December, 2018

Week 3 will involve travelling to Yorke Peninsula. We will visit the field centre at Wallaroo and spend time with Rex Minerals at their Hillside site and adjacent prospects. 

Will will undertake a program of field geophysical and geochemical exploration through cover to add to existing databases that can be built-on year by year. There will be visits to various field sites, with the intention of spending as much time in the field as possible.

We will return on Friday 14 December for a wrap up session.

Reunion session

In a weekend in June or July 2019 we will run a six month reunion session with all students and industry partners to reflect on the experience, review what was learnt, and see how the new data sets have been interpreted and integrated into a bigger picture of mineral exploration strategy.