Geoscience exchange and mineral investment attraction partnership with China continues to thrive.
The South Australian Government has been working with Chinese government mineral resource agencies for over five years. These relationships with China are crucial for maintaining an outward, international context for the Geological Survey of South Australia (GSSA), as well as for promoting the state’s mineral industry. Recently, a major focus was the South Australian booth and presentations at China Mining and China-Australia Minerals Investment Seminar as part of the international government promotional vehicle, Australia Minerals. In October 2017 Baohong Hou, Marc Twining and Steve Hill from the GSSA travelled to China to participate in several activities around these collaborations.
Baohong delivered a well-received keynote presentation at the Society of Economic Geologists conference in Beijing on heavy mineral sand resources and what we know about these deposits in China. Baohong is an international expert in this field and knowledge from this work can be applied in South Australia. In addition to the conference, Marc participated in a short course and field trip run by industry experts looking at sediment-hosted gold systems in China and the United States, with a view to recognising potential analogues in South Australia. The conference provides a forum for current research and outcomes in the field of economic geology to be presented, having direct relevance and application to ongoing work being undertaken by the GSSA.
The China Mining and China-Australia Minerals Investment Seminar provided a forum to actively promote the state’s mineral industry, in particular investment opportunities. China Mining is Asia’s largest minerals industry conference and our attendance here further builds the awareness and reputation of South Australia as a trusted, collaborative and rewarding investment destination. Visitors to our booth sought information on gold, ‘battery’ commodities and industrial minerals such as halloysite. There was a strong Chinese emphasis on the value of ‘green mining’ projects, including more progressive environmental regulation as well as reduced impact of mining and exploration, and opportunities for commodities associated with new technologies such as electricity storage.
The GSSA’s collaboration with the Nanjing Centre of the China Geological Survey has included a memorandum of understanding which forms the basis for annual exchanges and collaborations of geologists, particularly in fields of exploration biogeochemistry and spectral mineralogy. Meetings this year included updates on ongoing projects, such as biogeochemical programs at the Paris silver deposit and in the Mount Painter region. This has led to a series of plant biogeochemical sampling programs in China and South Australia, and the development of a greater portfolio of techniques and experience. A renewal of the memorandum was signed, which promises to keep this collaboration active for the next four years. An upcoming reciprocal visit by Chinese staff is planned for late 2017.
The GSSA, through the relationship with the China Geological Survey, maintains a collaboration with the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) which this year included a visit to the Tianshan Uranium 735 Factory in the Yili Basin. This mine utilises an innovative O2 and CO2 leaching process for the in situ recovery of uranium, resulting in significant economic and environmental benefits. This approach will be interesting to consider in South Australia during future reciprocal visits to South Australia by CNNC.
– Marc Twining