Exploring undercover for the future

Keen future geoscientists from across Australia had much to explore during this annual summer school.

The third annual National Exploration Undercover School (NExUS) took place over three weeks in November-December 2018. It was attended by 32 eager geoscience students and early career mining and exploration professionals.

NExUS is a prestigious Australian summer for school for next generation exploration geologists. It is funded by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and Minerals Tertiary Education Council (MTEC), co-ordinated by the University of Adelaide and supported by geoscience industry, government and academia.

The 2018 cohort represented every Australian State and Territory, selected from 11 different universities, together with geoscientists from five exploration and mining companies, Geoscience Australia and the NSW Geological Survey. Participants included geology and geology/engineering undergraduates, honours and masters students, and recent graduates.

Attendees were encouraged to think critically about the challenges facing mineral explorers today, as well as the technology and practices required to overcome.

The 3D orebody modelling component exposed students to the latest Maptek Vulcan geological modelling tools.

This session was presented by Dr Gavin Springbett (G&S Resources) and covered: geological databases, data appraisal and validation, orebody boundary definition (implicit and explicit), surface and block modelling, model visualisation and validation, and resource-reserve estimation.

The practical session provided a valuable understanding of the modelling process, the stages involved and tools available.

The NExUS Alumni (2016-2018) now numbers in excess of 100 students, with all participants remaining in the Australian geoscience sector and about 70% involved directly in mineral exploration.

Feedback from participants has been very positive. They called out a much greater appreciation of the career opportunities within mineral exploration, the comprehensive nature of the program for professional development and the benefits of networking highlighted as key course outcomes.