JOHANNESBURG ( – In a world-first collaboration of mineral explorers, drillers, government and research institutes, the Deep Exploration Technologies Cooperative Research Centre (DET CRC), the Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA), mineral explorers Minotaur Exploration and Kingston Resources and drilling company Boart Longyear have signed agreements to collaborate on a mineral systems drilling programme (MSDP).

The agreements were executed on Thursday at the Boart Longyear Asia Pacific headquarters in Adelaide, South Australia. Drilling is scheduled to start in July this year.

The MSDP is aimed at uncovering hidden mineral deposits in the highly prospective eastern Gawler Craton Olympic copper/gold province of the northern Eyre Peninsula, a district widely regarded as one of South Australia’s key emerging mineral provinces, and at developing the new technologies required for ongoing, cost-effective, successful mineral exploration beneath barren cover.

The South Australian government has backed the MSDP’s unique approach to exploration with an investment of $2-million from the PACE Frontiers Initiative, which is a two-year, $4-million initiative launched as part of the 2013/14 South Australian government Budget specifically focused on addressing the high investment risk and support needed for mineral exploration.

The MSDP comes at a critical juncture for Australia’s mining and exploration industry as Australia’s share of mineral exploration expenditure has halved from about one-quarter to one-eighth of the world’s total in the past 20 years.

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