NExUS is funded by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) Minerals Tertiary Education Council (MTEC) and OZ Minerals and is supported by industry, government geoscience institutions and academia.
Delivered by key figures in industry, government and academia, NExUS participants are exposed to leading exploration concepts and technology to face the challenges of effective exploration through post-mineralisation cover.
The course consists of workshops, interactive lectures and hands-on activities both in the field and in the classroom, with evening networking events with senior representatives from industry and professional organisations.
The program is coordinated and led by Dr Richard Lilly and Professor Graham Heinson from the University of Adelaide. An example of the activities completed in the three-week program (2016-2019) are listed below. Since the disruptions of 2020, future NExUS programs will be modified to ensure as much of the valuable learning outcomes can still be achieved. NExUS strives to be up-to-date and is never the same twice! In 2022 the program is expected to last for two-weeks and will include the first week based in Adelaide and the second week in the field on the Yorke Peninsula. Further details will be posted as the 2022 program is developed.
Themes and 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:
- Theme 1 - Characterising the cover: New knowledge to confidently explore beneath the cover.
- Theme 2 - Investigating Australia’s lithospheric architecture: A whole-of-lithosphere architectural framework for mineral systems exploration.
- Theme 3 - Resolving the 4D geodynamic and metallogenic evolution of Australia: Understanding ore deposit origins for better prediction.
- Theme 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.
South Australia Drill Core Reference Library, Tonsley
NExUS begins at the at the state-of-the-art Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA) Drill Core Reference Library at Tonsley, Adelaide.
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.
- A chance to attend the South Australian Exploration and Mining conference.
There will be social and networking events designed to expand your professional network and learn from industry experts.
Field trip, Adelaide Hills
This week starts with a workshop on 3D software and structure. The rest of the week is spent in the field and will start on a field trip.
The focus will be on the field use of geophysical equipment, mapping and geochemical exploration at an exploration prospect and historic mining area.
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.
Yorke Peninsula field trip
Week three 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.
We will complete an ore textures workshop, and will aim to spend as much time in the field as possible while visiting classic South Australian field sites and numerous historical mine sites.
We will return on the Friday for a farewell event before attendees fly home on the weekend.