Mining in the Nullarbor Plain

MiningOne potential mineral haven that has not yet been explored rests in Australia. Very recently, photographs have been released of earth’s crust at a 60 kilometer depth along Australia’s transcontinental rail line. While further investigation is most certainly necessary, the images do show a large amount of interesting geological structures, meaning that this land could be filled with minerals. The potential for copper mining has yet to be determined.

Australia’s Nullarbor Plain looks a lot like an expanse of dry land at the surface. Australians even find it boring, however a little research shows that it is actually a very interesting place. This Plain is home to the world’s largest piece of limestone, and is the discovered zone of several meteorites. Part of it has been labeled a national park, even though, as the name suggests, it is devoid of trees. People have used all kinds of methods to travel across it, including car, bicycle, and train. Although residents insist that it is a barren and uninteresting place, the Nullarbor Plain has some beautiful spots to which to travel.

The fact that we now have a sense of what may be underneath its surface means we can finally send explorers to see what minerals lay near the surface in this area. Apparently, a drilling program will be incorporated into this space in early 2017 to find out more as well. The area has since opened to bids, despite Australia’s worry that the Nullarbor Plain was too desolate an area to attract much interest. Bidders figured that the Plain was desolate, but not isolated as it has a railroad going right through it, which makes it a very desirable location in which to look for minerals.

The reason Australia’s Nullarbor Plain is only coming into the eye of the public now is specifically because it is the largest piece of limestone in the world. The limestone that covers the Plain is quite thick, about 300-400 m thick to be exact. The new imagery that was gathered is the first indication that anything at all exists underneath the thick limestone surface.

The South Australian side is the part of the Nullarbor Plain that is currently drawing the most attention. The South Australian government has already donated almost $2 million to the project. This state, already a prominent producer of several precious metals, wants to ensure it has a stake in whatever is found in the Nullarbor Plain.