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What is the MinEx CRC?

The MinEx Cooperative Research Centre (MinEx CRC) is the world’s largest mineral exploration collaboration, bringing together industry, government, research organisations and universities to further our understanding of geology, mineral deposits and groundwater resources in areas where rocks aren’t exposed at Earth’s surface.

The collaboration has identified three specific programs – Drilling technologies, Data from drilling and the National Drilling Initiative (NDI).

National Drilling Initiative Program - NSW focus area

The Geological Survey of New South Wales (GSNSW) is a major participant in the NDI program, committing $16 million to the program over 10 years.

In NSW, the program focuses on several areas in the state’s central and far west (Figure 1 below), where Group 1 minerals (metals) potentially exist under a layer of younger barren geology. These areas are:

MinEx CRC focus areas in NSW

Figure 1: MinEx CRC focus areas in NSW

GSNSW will undertake legacy data compilation, geological mapping and sampling, airborne electromagnetic and other geophysical surveyshydrogeochemistrybiogeochemistry, and stratigraph drilling from 2019 to 2028. Drilling is planned from 2023 to 2026 and will avoid sensitive areas such as state significant aquifers and national parks.

New data on mineral deposits deep underground

Mining of metals such as nickel, copper, zinc, silver and gold provide significant economic and social benefits to the state.

High-tech and critical metals including platinum, cobalt, scandium and lithium are also key to many emerging advanced-technology industries, such as the manufacture of smart phones and renewable energy technologies. These metals play an important role in our modern and smart, sustainable energy way of life.

As it is unlikely there are any significant new metalliferous mineral deposits left to discover at the surface in NSW, new data needs to be collected to enable the detection of deposits that may exist deeper underground. The various activities undertaken by MinEx CRC will contribute to the understanding of these mineral deposits in NSW.

Community consultation

GSNSW will consult landholders, local communities and other government agencies before and during major activities in each area.

Where possible community information sessions will be held in local town centres so all community members can find out more about activities in their area. The dates and venues of these sessions will be posted to this website as they are confirmed. Where face-to-face sessions are not possible or practical, online webinars will be used.

Online webinar - Geoscience activities in the Cobar-Lake Cargelligo area (October 2020).

Online information session – Mundi MinEx CRC airborne electromagnetic (AEM) Survey (February 2021)

Online information session – Cobar MinEx CRC airborne magnetic and radiometric (AMR) survey (May 2021)

Landholders and landholder interest groups who are directly impacted by MinEx CRC activities will also be consulted individually, either through face-to-face meetings or via telephone.


In August 2018, the Governor of NSW declared five Mineral Allocation Areas (MAAs) for Group 1 minerals in NSW – Dubbo, Mundi, Forbes, North Cobar and South Cobar.

These MAAs were revoked in January 2021 allowing companies to apply for ground (i.e. exploration licences) at any time.

New products and datasets

Geophysics and 3D models

Cobar AEM infill (via MinView)

Geological mapping and sampling

New geochronology:


Mineral systems & drillhole data

Other reports and publications

Audit and gaps reports for the North CobarSouth CobarMundiForbes and Dubbo focus areas


More information

Contact: Geological Survey of NSW


Phone: 1300 736 122