The Western Australian government is investing $12 million over four years to implement a state-wide passive seismic survey to unlock more of the state’s hidden resources.
Funded as part of the 2022-23 State budget, the WA-Array program will be one of the largest of its kind undertaken anywhere in the world.
WA has no shortage of mineral resources, but most known deposits are near the surface. The WA-Array program will make it easier to locate deeper resources.
The subsurface imaging program will deploy 165 seismometers in a grid pattern at 40-kilometre intervals – providing valuable insights into the state’s mineral deposits.
The program will also provide new insights into WA’s critical minerals resources, and promote investment in exploration and developing future mines and downstream processing.
All data collected will be rigorously assessed before being made freely available to resource explorers, researchers and the WA community.
Seismometers will be relocated annually, with the entire state being mapped over 10 years.
Mines and Petroleum minister Bill Johnston said the WA-Array program would help unlock a new generation of resource discoveries that would create more jobs and potentially billions of dollars of economic benefits for WA.
“It will digitally transform and supercharge the state’s mining industry – helping to attract investment and support even more local jobs for Western Australians,” he said.
“The global transition to clean energy presents significant opportunities, which is why the Government is working hard to invest in and attract new industries to WA. Battery and critical minerals such as lithium, cobalt and nickel face ever increasing demand, so we need to keep supporting the search for the mines of tomorrow.”