Dataset: Australian Offshore Mineral Locations Map, August 2006


The Australian Offshore Mineral Locations map shows mineral occurrences and deposits within Australia's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf.

Australia will have one of the largest marine jurisdictions in the world (14.4 million square kilometres) if the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf agrees to Australia's submission on the outer limit of its extended continental shelf. This is greater than Australia's total land area (13.6 million square kilometres), including Antarctica.

The Offshore Mineral Locations map sheds light on the mineral prospectivity in this exciting, but poorly known frontier. It should serve also to ensure mineral values are considered in marine planning and decision making.

The Australian Offshore Mineral Locations map draws together data from published and unpublished marine research surveys as well as reports from federal and state government records.

Mineral locations shown include manganese nodules and crusts, shellsand, construction aggregate, heavy mineral sand, phosphorites, diamonds, tin, copper, gold and coal.

Types of mineralisation, some interpreted from limited information, provide an insight into the nature of the depositional settings.

Bathymetry shows the variable physiography of the seafloor that surrounds Australia. For the first time it is possible to identify features such as the contextual setting of manganese crusts and nodules on the East Tasman Plateau and South Tasman Rise, and shellsand and cobalt crust on the edge of the Ceduna Terrace where it descends to the South Australian Abyssal Plain.

Insets and images on the map show further detail, mineral specimens and operational aspects associated with exploration and recovery of marine minerals.

The map is the result of a collaborative project between Geoscience Australia, CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship and Division of Exploration and Mining, and each of the State and Northern Territory Geological Surveys.

The Australian Offshore Mineral Locations data can be viewed online by using Geoscience Australia's Australian Marine Spatial Information System (AMSIS). AMSIS contains more than 80 layers of Australian marine information which can be viewed and integrated with mineral locations data to create maps to meet specific requirements.

You can also purchase hard copies of Geoscience Australia data and other products at

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