Global Explorers Uncover SA’s Mineral Riches Online

PIRSA LogoWhen South Australia set out to help the world’s exploration companies understand the potential of the state’s natural resources, SA Resource Information GeoServer (SARIG) became the key to unlocking potentially billions in untapped resources.  

This online mapping facility allows anyone in the world to access detailed information about the known geology and mineral deposits in South Australia.

SARIG was developed as a key deliverable within South Australia’s Plan for Accelerated Exploration (PACE) initiative.  PACE has been spectacularly successful in attracting global interest in South Australia’s mineral wealth. 

Investment in exploration has grown from under $50 million dollars in 2004 to over $300 million dollars per annum thanks largely to the initiatives within PACE.

Meeting The Challenge >>

PACE adopts a multi-faceted approach to streamline exploration and reduce risk for exploration companies. South Australia’s geology is such that much of the real resource wealth is hidden under a vast layer of sediment that makes surface exploration difficult and unreliable. Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA) Mineral Division had long been surveying and collecting vast volumes of data and much of it was already available online.  The problem was that the data was relatively dispersed and difficult to collate.

Various spatially enabled data sources allowed information to be mapped but it didn’t tie in easily with the vast collection of historical sample and survey information that was not spatial.  The results of years of PIRSA’s exploration initiatives were therefore difficult to assemble, especially if you were an international explorer unfamiliar with local geology and geography.  What PACE demanded was a facility which made all types of information and data accessible from a relatively simple interface so that exploration companies anywhere in the world could quickly identify the potential beneath the surface.   

Outstanding Features >>

PIRSA initially developed online tenement lodgement and a mining Geoserver which were then promoted under the SARIG brand as a prototype project in 2001. They engaged SRA to help integrate the components into a single application and SARIG evolved to become the highest rated site of its type in the world for the years 2004 through 2007. 

That level of recognition was only achieved after some aggressive re-engineering to improve look and feel, general navigation and performance.  The ability to view commodity, mineral licenses, airborne Geophysical survey data and all available geological information overlaid on maps or satellite images made SARIG and incredibly powerful interface. The addition of user selectable regions, PDF map and 3D model downloads and online purchasing of data made SARIG a very attractive destination for exploration experts and by 2007, over 4,500 maps were being presented weekly through the interface. 

Comprehensive Benefits >>

PACE has been acknowledged as one of the most successful programs of its type.  Exploration expenditure in SA has grown more than 6 fold and South Australia’s share of national exploration expenditure has trebled.  The information available through the SARIG interface continues to grow as does South Australia’s commitment to the PACE initiative.  With SRA’s help, SARIG set a benchmark that economic regions globally began to emulate.  

In 2009, PIRSA realised that improvements in technology meant that there were new tools and new methods available to provide an even better interface for SARIG and SRA were again chosen for the redevelopment.  See the SARIG Redevelopment Case Study and uncover how SRA have been able to improve on one of the great online success stories.   

Leading Edge Technology >>

  • JavaServer Pages, Java and JavaScript
  • XML and HTML
  • Tomcat Web Server

Further Information >>

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Case Studies

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