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Mineral Resources Tasmania

Two decades of 3D modelling at MRT – new publication

Over the last 20 years, Mineral Resources Tasmania has been developing regional 3D geological and geophysical models for prospective terranes at a range of scales and extents as part of its suite of precompetitive geoscience products. These have evolved in conjunction with developments in 3D modeling technology over that time. Commencing with a jurisdiction-wide 3D model in 2002, subsequent modelling projects have explored a range of approaches to the development of 3D models as a vehicle for the better synthesis and understanding of controls on ore-forming processes and prospectivity.

These models are built on high-quality potential field data sets. An aspect of this effort has been the generation of uncertainty estimates for model features. Our experience is that this process can be hindered by models that are too large or too detailed to be interrogated easily, especially when modelling techniques do not readily permit significant geometric changes.

The most effective 3D modelling workflow for insights into mineral exploration is that which facilitates the rapid hypothesis testing of a wide range of scenarios whilst satisfying the constraints of observed data. Future modelling platforms—for example the open-source LOOP project ( if successful may address this conundrum.

An article by Daniel Bombardieri, Mark Duffett, Andrew McNeill (MRT) with Matt Cracknell and Anya Reading (University of Tasmania) documents and summarises 3D model developments at MRT. It is free to read in an upcoming special issue of the open-access journal Minerals devoted to 3D modelling of crustal structures and mineral deposit systems.