Battery minerals

Energy linked to 21ST Century knowledge (Battery Minerals)

The history of energy creation, generation and use is the history of human evolution, travel, trade and knowledge dissemination. The increase in human knowledge over the past 250 years coupled with the advent of ways to store and use energy locally has led to virtually exponential knowledge growth in the 21st Century. The extraction of minerals suitable for batteries that can store energy from renewable and non renewable sources is fundamental to the technological age in the 21st century.

From the change from charcoal to coal, whale oil to crude oil, the adaption of alternating rather than direct current to power our cities to the current change in energy generation from multiple sources the human race has sought to improve its standard of living and on hand knowledge to advance civilizations and to explore distant lands and planets.

Climate Change and the Energy mix

Currently the proposed energy mix using the Australian Government’s concept of energy security addresses a mix of ‘non-renewable’ (coal, conventional and non-conventional gas, oil, oil shale, nuclear, and ‘renewable’ energy (wind, hydro, solar, bio fuels, geothermal). To achieve this mix necessitates adoption of new technologies and ongoing research in methods of energy generation and storage. The touted renewable energy market mix such still requires the discovery, mining and processing of minerals to create the raw materials for battery manufacture and storage of electricity.

The goal is to create consistent energy to power critical infrastructure and if this is not forthcoming creates a situation of urban chaos and loss of revenue and in the short term and possible revolution if the situation is not remedied. Currently there is a necessity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to stabilise climate variations globally. This goal has spawned ‘green’ or ‘renewable’ energy to be added to the energy production mix. This trend to renewable energy has been championed globally by governments through subsidies to creating an ongoing more livable urban environments in our growing mega-cities.

The change from total dependence on non-renewable energy sources such as coal and nuclear power has been driven by global debate on climate change and greenhouse gases and the growing pollution and issue of global climate change. There has been a significant cost to the community with rapidly escalating energy prices particularly in areas where there is an almost total reliance on renewable energy such as South Australia. The important considerations of any major new energy source are:

  • That the renewables sources must create a net improvement in carbon dioxide levels. The energy input to create renewable energy sources must be less than the energy outputs over the life cycle of each renewable energy source.
  • That renewable source must generate energy for continuous system operation by delivering 24/7/365 power to keep modern economies buoyant.  This has been supplied by major electricity grids in developed countries across the globe using coal, natural gas and nuclear.
  • Linking of energy produced by renewables (e.g., Solar panels and wind) into the major grid  requires effective battery storage systems when the sun doesn’t shine and wind doesn’t blow.
  • The rapid change in personal use of energy is linked to development and deployment of personal, electronic, battery- operated devices, e.g. mobile phones, computers, GPS systems that use batteries at locations remote from grid power.  what are the ongoing pollution issues caused by the creation of the energy source?
  • How long does the energy source continue to operate?
  • As renewable energy sources such as wind and solar do not produce power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind is ineffective a battery storage system is essential to deliver 24/7/365 energy availability

As renewable energy sources such as wind and solar do not produce power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind is ineffective a battery storage system is essential to deliver 24/7/365 energy availability

Energy Storage and use through Lithium and other minerals

The site on types of minerals processed for use in modern battery technology  is instructive in this space.  Rechargeable batteries having a high energy density with multiple recharging for long-term storage is the key.  Lithium-ion batteries are currently the main technology utilized in batteries used for most hand-held devices such as mobile phones and personal computers due to the high levels of energy stored.  Variants of Lithium-ion batteries are used currently in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle (EV) industry.

The site which outlines the properties of lithium-ion batteries  related to their safety of use and issues of long term storage, discharge and charging identifies combinations of chemistry that are relevant to different industrial applications.

Types of Lithium-Ion batteries and their use

Lithium Cobalt Oxide: has the highest energy density of current in lithium batteries. Cobalt has a high energy density, but is an expensive metal that displays thermal instability (unsafe) and fast capacity fade (short life) as a cathode material.

Lithium Manganese Oxide: in this battery, the use of manganese in place of cobalt allows for higher power density and greater thermal stability when compared to Lithium Cobalt Oxide.

Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide: Nickel, manganese and cobalt oxide improves cathode lifespan. Combining all three results in good performance across all metrics (energy density, power density, lifespan, and thermal stability

Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide: These batteries have high power and energy densities, and long shelf life, but degrade more quickly with use than Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide cells. The increased cobalt content improves energy and power density, but also makes cells more expensive and less thermally stable.

Lithium Iron Phosphate: Have high thermal stability, long lifespan, cheap cathode materials and are obvious choice for use as stationary storage.

Lithium Titanate nanocrystals here form the anode, and these batteries display unparalleled thermal stability / lifespan. They are expensive when assessed on the basis of energy storage capacity ($/kWh).


Portable electronic devices such as mobile phones. The battery characteristics, combined with a low power density, rank other lithium-ion batteries for EV and stationary storage applications

This battery was once the choice for EV manufacturers However, with a shorter lifetime, and lower energy density they are considered less suitable for EVs than Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide batteries

Nickel Manganes Cobalt batteries are applicable across many applications, particularly EV’s

Competes with Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide for market share in EV power trains.

Due to their low energy density they are unsuited to EV’s, and manufacturing volumes have not yet reached the point where system costs reflect the low materials costs.

Their capacity to deliver energy over an extremely short period makes them competitive in high power applications. Low energy density makes them unsuited to EV’s, Project applications include grid frequency regulation and Photovoltaic cells associated with wind farm smoothing

For stationary storage on-grid and off-grid solar storage, Lithium Iron Phosphate and Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide batteries are market leaders. The majority of rest remain with incumbent sealed lead-acid batteries however, and the following parameters should be considered when comparing the two technologies.

Non-rechargeable) lithium batteries possess toxic metallic lithium; however the components of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are much more stable, but require recycling when recharging is not effective. Unfortunately recycling of lithium-ion batteries is mostly non-existent and these are commonly disposed in waste dumps and this is an issue to be solved when these batteries reach the end of their life cycle. The creation of large-format lithium-ion batteries in an expanding Electric Vehicles (EV) market and for stationary point storage (eg Tesla Powerwall) will require expansion of recycling options possibly at the origin location of the mega factories that originally produced the batteries. As a contrast disposal and recycling of lead-acid batteries are much more advanced due to their long residence in the marketplace.

Lithium- ion batteries generate considerable heat when being recharged. Thermal runaway is a term that refers to a positive feedback loop that can cause battery swelling, fire and explosion. This occurs due to the catalytic effect of heat released during battery malfunction accelerates the irregular reactions causing the release of excessive heat.

Lithium-ion cells have a high density of energy and this combined with the reactivity of lithium, the flammability of the organic solvent electrolyte, thermal runaway can be more dangerous than in lead-acid battery cells. Without protection systems in place, the likelihood also tends to be greater and this has occurred in some personal mobile phones. An exception to this is the thermally-stable LTO batteries.

Practically, manufacture of lithium-ion batteries include systems and safety measures that isolate battery packs when there are conditions of over/under-voltage or over/under-temperature, Cell balancing systems that equalise the standard operating current of battery cells connected in series, to avoid over/under-voltage conditions such as:

  • Battery fusing to arrest short-circuit currents
  • Thermal management systems to carry heat away from cells via air or liquid cooling

The widespread use of lithium-ion batteries in EV’s is indicative of the effectiveness of these protection systems. In stationary applications, where temperatures are lower and more stable, the likelihood of thermal runaway is reduced even further. There has been little or no consideration of how to effectively recycle waster products from Li-ion batteries when these reach the end of their effective life cycle.

Countries supplying minerals for batteries

The supply of material for Lithium -ion batteries comes from the sources of the major components of the batteries – lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite and these are distributed unevenly in different jurisdictions.


Lithium sources include hard rock mines in particular lithium pegmatites containing spodumene and lithium-rich brines. The largest global producer of lithium is the Greenbushes Mine in Western Australia that produces lithium from hard rock pegmatite deposits containing spodumene. The rest of the production is sources from Li-rich brines in South America mainly from salt lakes in Argentina and Chile.


Most cobalt is sourced as a by-product of Nickel mining, with the largest producer of cobalt is the Democratic republic of Congo which is a politically unstable region that uses child labour.


The Phillipines was the major producer of global nickel in 2016 but by restricting of access to these deposits Indonesia has become the  top nickel producing country, followed by the Philippines. Reserves of the metal are estimated at 94 million tonnes globally, with Indonesia and Australia among the countries holding the world’s largest nickel reserves Australia is also a significant producer mainly at this stage from nickel sulphides, but there is current development opportunities in Nickel laterites. that have higher grades than the nickel sulphide deposits and form surficial deposits with low or zero strip ratios.

Ni-Co Laterites

Increasingly the Extraction of Nickel and Cobalt  is linked to technology studies into extracting this material from Nickel-cobalt (+scandium)  contained in laterite deposits overlying basic igneous intrusions that occur mainly within the tropics.  The technology to extract Nickel and Cobalt in the higher grade Nickel-Cobalt laterite deposits in undergoing a transition to attempt to achive higher recoveries form existing deposits.


The Phillipines is the major producer of global nickel and there has recently been restricting access to these deposits. Australia is also a significant producer mainly at this stage from nickel sulphides, but there is current development opportunities in Nickel laterites.

The United States geological Survey (USGS) has created a Global Resource Model of Lateritic Ni-Co deposits.  Analyses of how these laterites respond toheap leachhas been studied. The cobalt grade in ores was related to the abundance of Mn-oxide phases, but the percentage of Co extracted during leaching did not correlate strongly with the abundance of any particular mineral phases.  Ores with high Ni grades (1.4–2.1 wt%) contained mainly smectite or chlorite, with low abundances of goethite and a variety of poorly crystalline phases.

Based on the USGS modelling there appears to be a close association of clay and oxide mineral species with grades of Ni and Co in laterite deposits.  Use of this knowledge may suggest an exploration and processing method which may use some of the ideas below.

  • From the drilling of Ni-Co laterite and the zoning and update the model for your deposit as required
  • Undertake testing of clay and oxide species using the SWIR and Thermal IR using the  hylogger available at government geological surveys in Australia and compare these species  against existing analyses of Ni and Co grades.  From the examples of the different Ni-Co laterite ores it appears that specific mixes of clays, oxides and carbonates give consistent grades.  Hylogger with the SWIR and longer thermal TIR bands will give good correlation of mixes of these minerals that can be compared against the analysed grades of the deposit.
  • Look at other data sets if available such as regional airborne and ground geophysics (particularly radiometrics to determine spatial variations in the surface of the orebody .  Radiometric ratio image (K, K/Th. K/U) may show surficial variations within a zone of the deposit


Sources of graphite are mainly hard rock derived from metamorphic rocks, with the main source regions are China and eastern Africa (Mozambiue and Madagasga). Australia has significant sources of graphite in South Australia and in North Queensland, but  these have not been developed

Companies that deliver innovative solutions to generation of electricity in the Australian market include combinations of technologies that link solar and pump storage and photovoltaic cells and those that are linked to providing materials for lithium battery technology

Companies that deliver innovative solutions to generation of electricity in the Australian market include combinations of technologies that link solar and pump storage and photovoltaic cells and those that are linked to providing materials for lithium battery technology

An emerging challenge to Li-ion batteries – the Liquid metal battery

Another battery type is the liquid metal battery developed at MIT in the United States. This battery uses a molten salt electrolyte with liquid metal antimony (Sb) and Magnesium(Mg) electrodes. Power generated from renewable sources into this battery keeps the electrodes molten and allows storage of electricity.  An electrolytic variant of this system has experimentally created molten iron and nickel which has been only possible using coking coal. The system has recently been adapted commercially to stabilise large storage devices. ‘Liquid metal’ battery technology developed as a potential low-cost competitor for lithium-ion looks set to be used at a data centre under development near Reno, Nevada. Rechargeable liquid-metal batteries are used for industrial power backup, special electric vehicles and for grid energy storage, to balance out intermittent renewable power sources such as solar panels and wind turbines.

The low cost of accessing the three components (salt, Sb and Mg) in this battery may see replacement of Li-ion batteries for stabilising renewable power for electric grids.

Basin Analyses Integration

Basin Analyses – Data Integration

High level basin analyses must consider the information gained from all public open file data available online and the use of the most recent company data as required to interpret and solve local anomalies .  The following discussion identifies the publicly available data to undertake an analysis of Queensland’s basins.  Each data set tells us something about the underlying rocks, but a results from interpretation of a single data set is not always directly applicable  to the results of interpretation of another.  A linking flow chart of the information from each data set to a final interpretation may allow a more comprehensive understanding for each basin. The sequence of using data sets is always from a regional concept (1:250 000 to 1:100 000 scale)  to the detailed exploration project (<1:10,000 scale), and it is important to understand the geology at all scales using the appropriate technique for each scaling parameter.

Queensland Resources

The location of major mineral and energy resources of the state is given on a state-wide basis by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (qld-resources-map (1))

The Late Palaeozoic to Mesozoic basins of Queensland have been extensively drilled particularly for energy resources (coal, oil and gas), but much of the mapping dates back to the 1960s and 1970s.  Linking the outcropping geology to a subsurface information delivers a holistic three dimensional view of these basins.

Much of Queensland has been flown by airborne geophysics and this data set has not been used extensively to update the detailed geology of these basins.  To maximise the potential of these basins it is important that all this data is used to update the interpretation of these economic basins.

This requires integration of available data sets and the solving of anomalies in interpretation locally and regionally.  The variation in the type of data and the scale of the information poses a range of issues in data integration.  Concepts of geology have been modified from the early mapping of the basin areas with updates to knowledge from sequence stratigraphy, chronstratigraphy and lithostratigraphy.

To generate a comprehensive interpretation of these basins requires an integrated approach by government and industry data to deliver a three dimensional basin concept to maximise knowledge of energy resources within basins and potential mineral resources at the margins of these basins.

Large Publicly available data sets that can be integrated with your project

A major  coverage publicly available source of data is the geophysical data coverage of Queensland.  A major significant coverage of  data is Geophysical Data coverage.  

Major subsets of this data are the 2D and 3D seismic lines mainly completed by exploration companies, deep crustal seismic, magnetotellurics, gravity and regional airborne geophysics completed by the state and commonwealth governments, and drill hole data completed by exploration companies and the state and commonwealth governments. These coverages are depicted below. Data was extracted from the DNRM website in March 2018.

Geophysical surveys in Queensland (Geophysical Data coverage)

Seismic data coverage (March, 2018)

Seismic data Queensland

The seismic data coverage is mainly concentrated in the southwest corner and the southern central part of the state associated with oil and gas in the Cooper and Surat Basins. Combinations of drilling, geological mapping and seismic data could be integrated to solve local interpretation  anomalies. The 2D and 3D seismic is applicable for the subsurface data and linking to detailed drill hole interpretation of the stratigraphy.

Deep Crustal Seismic and Magnetotelluric surveys (March 2018)

At the margins of mineralised provinces in north Queensland  deep crustal seismic reflection surveys have been completed.  These surveys use the  structural and petrophysical properties of rock bodies to create a depth profile  of the geology. The acquired data (in conjunction with rock properties and geophysical data) enables a much better understanding of the geology and mineral potential of northern Queensland.  It allows the imaging of deep regions of basinal areas and can pick older basin stratigraphy and structural disconformities at a significant depth.

Magnetotellurics (MT) was used along the same lines as the deep crustal seismic surveys. These currents are influenced by rock properties such as type, porosity, permeability and temperature. MT is an electromagnetic technique that measures naturally occurring electric (telluric) currents induced by variations in Earth’s magnetic field.  These techniques were implemented  to image the conductivity of Earth’s crust to similar depths as attained by the deep crustal surveys.

Magentotellurics surveys .

magnetotellurics north Queensland

Airborne Geophysical Data Coverage (March, 2018)

Magnetics radiometrics Queensland

The airborne geophysical data coverage is extensive with only the south-east corner, the northern tropical coast and an area in the central part of the state with no coverage. The south-east has flight restrictions around the major Brisbane and Coolangatta airports and the northern  coast World Heritage tropical rain forest areas are unlikely to be covered by data. Integration of the radiometrics and magnetic data captured by this technique can improve the interpretation of stratigraphic contacts between basin units and show the magnetic (airborne magnetics) and non-magnetic (radiometics) fault features and the features of buried magnetic stratigraphy and igneous rock bodies (magnetics).  This technique is particularly useful to update geological mapping interpretation derived solely from the use of aerial photographic interpretation over sedimentary basins from scales of 1:250 000 to 1:100 000.

Gravity Data over Queensland (March, 2018)

Gravity data detects variation in the density of rock bodies and is appropriate technique to assist in the location of mineral deposits that have a higher density than the surrounding rock bodies.

Gravity Queensland

GSQ has completed  regional gravity surveys with a station spacing that is equal to or less than 4km. The collected data was incorporated into the National Gravity Database.

Drilling Database Queensland  (March 2018)

DNRM and the current Department of Resources, Queensland  has major drilling data over the state derived from departmental and exploration drilling for water, stratigraphic interpretation and energy exploration and this can be downloaded from databases available online.  Departmental custodians of this data that keep the information current in line with legislative controls of data delivery and public availability.  To solve local issue requires access to other and more current company exploratory drilling. The use of drilling data with extensive seismic data can generate a 3D picture of large basin areas and identify the likely presence of fluids in these basins.  This can be accompanied by local knowledge on specific products.

“A Local example of recording and updating the stratigraphy of the eastern Surat Basin (this has links to the second section on  what our clients say). 

A report interpreting and integrating regional airborne radiometric and magnetic geophysical imagery over the Surat Basin with boreholes and other data demonstrates that coal seam gas producing units (Springbok Sandstone and Walloon Coal Measures) can be defined in outcrop at the northern basin margin.  This package of coal seam gas producing units could be distinguished from the underlying Mesozoic Eurombah Formation and overlying Westbourne Formation. The geochemical signatures of the different geological units were used to update the stratigraphy of the Surat basin in the area of outcrop. 

In the subsurface, extension of the boundaries of the sub-cropping coal seam gas producing units beneath Cainozoic cover rocks was generated through interpreting and integrating regional airborne magnetic and radiometric imagery, coal seam gas drilling, stratigraphic drilling, water bore data, previous geological mapping and local knowledge from coal seam mining in the Walloon Coal Measures.  To gain a comprehensive understanding of the extent of the entire sub crop extent of these units it was also necessary to understand the deposition sequence of the overlying Cainozoic Condamine Basin. This was by interpreting logs of water bore data and  integrating these with regional radiometric and satellite imagery and also using hylogger multispectral analysis of surface and core samples combined with hand-held portable XRF results”.

For any additional information on your projects and details of experience contact us.

Websites and digital marketing for the mining industry

Ok Tedi Volcanic Bressia

Summary of website variations for the mining industry

Each part of the mining industry is promoted  locally and globally through conferences, workshop and seminars to small and large scale investors .  There are several parts to the industry and each has traditionally been marketed separately.

Websites for the First Stage of Mineral Exploration and suggestions for changes

The first part of the process is the exploration phase.  This is undertaken by exploration companies who utilize existing information on prospectivity and pre-competitive information to apply for areas to be explored under an licence to explore. The entity to undertake the exploration is an individual,  private company, or a publicly listed company.  Private companies by their nature do not have to document publicly the information for their exploration, but this is held in Australia in company reports by the various state Mines and Natural Resources Department and released after the cessation of the exploration permit.

Similarly publicly -listed companies do not have the details of their exploration released in detail to a wider audience, but are commonly required to identify significant mineral intersections in line with mining legislation.  Generally, private listed companies have scant information on a website, but it is a market advantage for support of publicly listed companies to have details of mineral intersections listed on websites and presentations of the results of current exploration to interested shareholders. At this stage the resource is not adequately defined, but there is knowledge

Although representatives of companies spend considerable time and effort giving presentations about the current mineral intersection results of current drilling and  proposals for future drilling the number of promising projects that fail to produce a mine is over 90%.  This leads into the failures to mine a resources after identifying  the amount of available resources from pre-feasibility and bankable feasibility studies Why this is so stems from a number of factors such as:-

  1. The original concept of the style of mineralization was incorrect and the targeted exploration was ineffective in defining the mineralised zones
  2. The global supply was in excess of demand and requirements for the commodity were low
  3. The company did not have adequate bankable resources  from a feasibility study  and could not convince potential investors to assist in funding the next stage of exploration and / or development
  4. The company did not have a successful off take agreement for the resource
  5. Transport and processing of the ore was too expensive due to the remote location
  6. The  ore was refractory and could not be processed with current technology

Most of the above issues can be effectively managed and for investors to be confident enough to buy shares in a public company it would give them more security in investing.



Mining Industry Reviews

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Fraser Institute reports of the perceived most and least favourable mining industry jurisdictions 2019

One of the outcomes of the PDAC annual confere nces is a review of the mining industry. This review is an assessment of the most and least prospective jurisdictions  to explore and develop resources. This review is undertaken by the Fraser Institute an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organisation.  Fraser Institute  has offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. In 2019 Fraser Institute  denoted Western Australia as the most attractive global jurisdiction to explore and develop a resource. for mining investment followed by Finland (2nd), the U.S. state of Nevada (3rd), based on its Annual Survey of Mining Companies.

Based on 76 jurisdictions  ten most attractive 1) Western Australia 2) Finland 3) Nevada 4) Alaska 5) Portugal 6) South Australia 7) Republic of Ireland 8) Idaho 9) Arizona 10) Sweden

The 10 least attractive regions are: 67) Nicaragua 68) Mali  69) Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 70) Venezuela 71) Zambia 72) Dominican Republic 73) Guatemala 74) La Rioja, Argentina 75) Chubut, Argentina  76)  and Tanzania 77)..


The top jurisdiction in the world for investment based on  Investment Attractiveness Index is Nevada, which moved up from 3rd place in 2019.  Arizona, which ranked 9th in 2019, moved into 2nd place. Saskatchewan climbed eight spots from 11th in 2019 to 3rd in 2020. Western Australia ranked 4th this year after topping the ranking last year, and Alaska dropped a spot from 4th in 2019 to 5th in 2020. Rounding out the top 10 are Quebec, South Australia, Newfoundland & Labrador, Idaho, and Finland.

When considering both policy and mineral potential in the Investment Attractiveness Index, Venezuela ranks as the least attractive jurisdiction in the world for investment followed by Argentina: Chubut, and Tanzania. Other jurisdictions  in the bottom 10 (beginning with the worst) are Indonesia, Argentina: La Rioja, Bolivia, Argentina: Mendoza, Zimbabwe, Spain, and Michigan.

Geological potential  and economic considerations are important factors in mineral exploration that must be considered with a  region’s policy climate. The Fraser Institute uses a Policy Perception Index (PPI)  composite measure of the overall policy attractiveness of the 77 jurisdictions in their survey. The Policy Perception Index is composed of survey responses to policy factors that affect investment decisions for exploration and mining.  These policy factors include  uncertainty on the effective administration of current regulations, environmental regulations, regulatory duplication and the prevailing legal system and taxation regime. Other administrative uncertainties include protected areas, disputed land claims, infrastructure, socioeconomic and community development conditions, trade barriers, political stability and  labour regulations. The quality of the geological database  is also in doubt as is  security in operation and the skill level and availability of labour

Current ratings on the PPI score has Idaho displacing Finland for top spot with the highest PPI score of 100. This was followed by Wyoming in the second place, which moved from 16th in the previous year. The other top 10 rankings are  Finland, the Republic of Ireland, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Newfoundland & Labrador, Saskatchewan, and New Mexico.

The 10 least investment attractive jurisdictions  based on the PPI rankings are Venezuela (least attractive), Argentina: Chubut, Zimbabwe, Bolivia, Argentina: Mendoza, Tanzania, Papua New Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Indonesia, and Argentina: La Rioja.


Fraser Institute’s 2021 annual mining and exploration company survey assesses how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulatory uncertainty affect exploration investment. The survey had  290 responses (13%)  providing  data to evaluate 84 jurisdictions increasing from 77 in 2020, 76 in 2019, 83 in 2018, and 91 in 2017. The number of jurisdictions that can be included in the study is related to the size of the sector, global commodity prices and other factors. This  survey also includes permit times, similar to 2020.

The  Investment Attractiveness Index

The Investment Attractiveness Index combines the Best Practices Mineral Potential index based on their geologic attractiveness, and the Policy Perception Index.  Investment attractiveness   is a composite index that measures the effects of government policy on exploration investment. Measuring  the attractiveness of a jurisdiction is  based on policy factors such as onerous regulations, taxation levels, the quality of infrastructure, and the other policy related questions. The Policy Perception Index alone does not recognize the fact that investment decisions are often based mainly on the pure mineral potential of a jurisdiction. Overall, respondents consistently indicate that approximately 40 percent of their investment decision is determined by policy factors.

Highest Investment attraction Index. 
The top global jurisdiction  for investment based on the Investment Attractiveness Index is Western Australia, which moved up from 4th place in 2020. Saskatchewan went up from a rank of 3rd in 2020 to 2nd in 2021. Nevada, which topped the ranking last year, ranked 3rd in 2021. Rounding out the top 10 are Alaska, Arizona, Quebec, Idaho, Morocco, Yukon, and South Australia. The United States has the most jurisdictions (4) in this year’s top 10, followed by Canada (3), Australia (2), and Africa (1).

Lowest Investment Attraction index

When considering both policy and mineral potential in the Investment Attractiveness Index, Zimbabwe ranks as least attractive jurisdiction  for investment followed by Spain, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Mali. Also, in the bottom 10 (from the next worst) are Nica ragua, China, Panama, Mendoza, Venezuela, and South Africa. Latin America (including Argentina and the Caribbean) and Africa are the regions with the greatest number of jurisdictions (4) in the bottom 10. Asia, which features once again in our analysis for the first time since 2018, and Europe, both contribute with one jurisdiction each in the bottom 10.

Top Policy Perception Index jurisdictions

The policy perception Index is  “report card” to governments on the attractiveness of their mining policies.  Geologic and economic considerations are important factors in mineral exploration however, a region’s policy climate is also an important investment consideration. The Policy Perception Index (PPI) composite index  measures the overall policy attractiveness of the 84 jurisdictions in the survey. The index is composed of survey responses to policy factors that affect investment decisions. Policy factors examined include uncertainty concerning the administration of current regulations, environmental regulations, regulatory duplication, the legal system and taxation regime, uncertainty concerning protected areas and disputed land claims. Also included are  infrastructure, socioeconomic and community development conditions, trade barriers, political stability, labour regulations, quality of the geological database, security, and labour and skills availability.

The Republic of Ireland  with the highest PPI score of 100 displaced Idaho (which dropped out of the top 10) this year . Morocco with a score of 98.06 took the second and displaced Wyoming, which also dropped out of the top 10 . Other top 10 ranked jurisdictions are Northern Ireland, Western Australia, Quebec, Nevada, Utah, Saskatchewan, Finland, and Alberta. Europe and Canada are the regions with the most jurisdictions (3 each) in the top 10 followed by the United States (2), Australia (1), and Africa (1).

The bottom policy perception Index jurisdictions 

The 10 least attractive jurisdictions for investment based on the PPI rankings are Venezuela, (last) Philippines, Argentina: Chubut, Nicaragua, y: Mendoza, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Bolivia, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia. This year, Latin America and Argentina contribute five of the bottom 10 jurisdictions followed by Africa (2), Asia (2), and Oceania (1).

For your assessment of jurisdictions in Queensland, Papua New Guinea and Mongolia.


Custodians – taking care of our Earth

NEWS FLASH- book and course Custodians and Earth Custodians (Vision For Caring For Our Earth’s Ecosystem) are available . SEE- Main Menu: Custodians 

Saving the earth from ecosystem collapse

Custodians front cover of the book
Custodianss the book

Humanity must become more aware of how to take care of each other before we can understand how to take care of our planet as custodians.

The global corruption levels of government and secrecy from its citizens has increased and this is endemic even in the most democratic nations. Corruption makes all decisions of government

The 21 st Century has been dubbed the ‘information age’ with most of the known elements being extracted to support a complex knowledge-based modern civilisation.

An examination of the current processes employed by business shows significant shortfalls in addressing the environmental effects of large projects that have extensive land use and complexity. Locally the result of these actions has been major environmental and human tragedies.

Major problems of the 21st Century are air, water , land and marine pollution, probable extinction of one million species by 2030, land degradation and climatic perturbations.

The impact of disasters and disease on human and animal populations and vegetation are examples of what has been grouped under the human induced change.  The bush fire season in Australia and elsewhere has been exacerbated by increasing aridity of climate and vegetation and the over allocation of water in major river systems in drought conditions.

Power generation in the 20th and 21st centuries has brought more people out of poverty, but it’s consistent clean power generation with minimum pollution and land clearing that is the key to a healthy ecosystem.

As custodians humanity needs to find better ways to undertake activities in harmony with our earth’s changes of climate, ecosystem and our needs to fulfil our role as true custodians of our wondrous home. Humans need to wake up, step up, and be heard to make our earth a sustainable liveable ecosystem for us, our animals, and everything.

Alternatively for kindle readers download directly from Amazon

Geological hazards of our earth

NEWS FLASH- book and course Custodians and Earth Custodians (Vision For Caring For Our Earth’s Ecosystem) are available . SEE- Main Menu: Custodians 

Types of Geological hazards

A geologic hazard  has been defined as an extreme natural events in the crust of the earth that pose a threat to life and property, for example, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis (tidal waves) and landslides

Overall there can be a distinction between weather events and Geological Hazards

  • Geological Hazards  are ones that link directly to geological processes and extra terrestrial events that affect human and animal populations and associated plant life and,
  • Weather events and biological hazards It can be argued that these events may be exacerbated due to higher populations and human- induced global changes that affect climate and land degradation .
  • There is a causal link between earth movements that cause earthquakes and volcanoes that link downslope to movement of rock and soil material. Ash flows and falls from volcanoes can form lahars (volcanic mud flows), landslips and landslides. Similarly movement along oceanic plate fault lines causes earth quakes and locally tsunamis on shorelines.
  • These linked mechanisms also are assisted in their propagation by the action of weather and human movement to higher risk areas
  • Rainfall that lubricates the unstable moving landscapes – examples mainly are from collisional terranes and associated stratovolcanoes –e.g. Vesuvius, Mount St Helens and Tavurvur
  • The main examples are the volcanoes along the oceanic ridges (Mid Atlantic and east Pacific Rise) and the East African Rift
  • Iceland receives thousands of earthquakes associated with the Mid Atlantic ridge that essentially is slowly splitting the island in two.
  • Volcanoes in extensional zones are more predictable hazard to humanity than those in convergent margins and generally pose less immediate risk to communities
  • Humanity has taken a risk mitigation approach to weather events as it is powerless to influence them directly

Hazards on earth can also be subdivided into Geological hazards and weather events.

This does not account for the affect of local weather events created by volcanic eruptions and the effect of weather events in activation geological hazards.

East Africa - Rift Valley
East Africa – Rift Valley
  • iceland the splitting of the North American and Eurasian plates

Earth Movements such as quakes, eruptions, lahars (volcanic mudflows) and tsunamis extra-terrestrial collisions with earth are generally out of human control and  management, but can be exacerbated by human activities. For example avalanches and landslips can be made worse by human removal of vegetation and disturbance of unstable slopes.

Biological hazards including bacteria, viruses, epidemics and pandemics

Bacterial disease that have affected human populations as well as viruses.  Major events have included Pneumonia, meningitis, and food poisoning.  Throughout history, millions of people have died of diseases such as bubonic pljor kille4rs have beenague or the Black Death, which is caused by Yersinia pestis bacteria and smallpox, which is caused by the variola virus. In recent times, viral infections have been responsible for two major pandemics: the 1918-1919 “Spanish flu” epidemic that killed 20-40 million people, and the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic that killed an estimated 1.5 million people worldwide in 2013 alone. and the EBOLA SARS MERS and CORONA viruses in the 21st century. These three latter viruses have been Caused by encroachment of humanity on wild lifeabitats and  populations

Major natural disasters

Using the definition above linking geohazards  to the crust of the earth, there is a link to the major global natural disasters affecting life and property. Lightning causing death and fire is a natural phenomenon that in extreme situations be generated by large fire fronts.  The major hazards are:

  • 7 Landslides.and natural hazards
  • 6 Volcanic eruptions.
  • 5 Tornadoes.
  • 4 Lightning.
  • 3 Tsunamis.
  • 2 Hurricanes.
  • 1 Earthquakes.

Of the major natural disasters listed above the effects some can be greatly exacerbated by human activity.  For example landslides and land slips  usually occur when hydrological (water saturation of a rock and soil) loading of the soil and rock mass on steep slopes is excessive.  If these slopes have also been cleared or partially so due to human activities (including agriculture and mining) the landslide can be far more destructive as the rock and soil mass becomes over saturated and will form a sheet like dense flow carrying thick mud and rocks and burying all in its path.  There are numerous examples of this occurring in Latin America. Major landslips can occur im regions that have an unstable substrate such as regions affected by the movement of ice across a landscape that can create clays that can liquefy whne saturated to form a glide plane for large areas of land such as the one in Norway in early June 2020

Meteors and extra-terrestrial collisions

  • Extra-terrestrial collisions are a source for major concern when they occur.
  • These have created local and global extinctions of plants and animals and the Cretaceous age comet that collided with the earth has been linked to the extinction of the dinosaurs
  • The large amount of water on the earth is also linked to collisions with the primitive earth Scientists predict that the water in Earth’s oceans came from water-carrying bodies in the early solar system that collided with our planet, similar to today’s ice-rich asteroids or comets. But scientists do not know where in the formative disk these objects originated.

Other websites

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Geohistory Tourism – finding your interest


Geohistory tours  combine three main aspects of global tourism –1.Geological evolution of landscapes and resources, 2. plant and animal evolution through time and,3. the emergence of human culture and civilisation pn global megacities.

The oldest form of human tourism is to visit different regions to see how different and similar your neighbours are and to see their type of existence and resources.  The battle for these resources a through time has been the main way that human civilizations  have evolved. The increasing global population and knowledge through the internet  has created a range of tours focused on a mass market  for adventure experience away from the ever expanding megacities in which the majority of human civilisation is now concentrated.  Globally there are several UNESCO Geoparks which identify regions of significant geological importance on different continents.  These regions have a range of unique geological rock formations that attract tourists.  Commonly they occur in mountainous regions with little agriculture and are regions of  spectacular scenery.  

Geohistory tourism aims to bring together the  formation of landscapes and resources through geological time and the reasons where human civilisations are concentrated. This type of tourism includes urban and protected areas  The site contains all the regions of the globe concentrated in 5 major core pages. Within each page there will be links to tours in that region. The links may contain self guided or fully guided tours and also included options for  accommodation, dining and local infrastructure and services.

Australian Geohistory Tours

Geohistory tourism in Australia is just beginning.  The Ecotourism component of Geohistory tours is better developed than the Geological (or Geotourism) component and the cultural tourism concept is usually handled by historical societies and locally in major cities through a greeter organisation. Options for this tourism in Australia are  outlined in Geohistory tourism in Australia   Cultural tourism is developed in Europe based on many thousands of years on human history and culture and this is reflected in these countries by a .

Queensland Geotourism

Google map ,Queensland

Queensland has the potential to create a thriving industry in geohistory tourism based on its climate, world heritage regions, local development and natural resources. The ways that these tours could operate would include:

1.. Traditional tour with guide and brochure and commentary and a set agenda for the travel.  This would suit larger tour groups and particularly those from overseas with limited English and time to visit the State.

2. self guided tour using brochures, printouts,  Thus would link to the grey nomads who have both enough time and are not very computer literate and like to travel the main highways of the country seeking out interesting places to visit along their travels.

3.Self/tour  guided tour using phone apps or websites would  link best with tech savvy tourist who enjoys the constant use of   smart phone apps to locate all their  items of interest  .   This concept of using a hone app to highlight the building stones of the city of Brisbane was first showcased in the International Geological Congress (IGC in 2012) as the Geotourism Brisbane app  This has been upgraded and used in the 2017 World Science Fair  (e.g. Konect Tourism).  The concept includes creating digital postcards in front of sites of interest. Regions included and shown on the following slide. The Konect App could be a model for self -guided Global Geohistory Tourism. The most northerly area covers the Etheridge shire and has been complied with the purpose of creating Australia’s first geopark. Other areas completed include Eungella National park and the Brisbane CBD. Work is continuing on North Stradbroke Island and the Redcliffe Peninsular.
Changes in the movement of people to overseas destinations this year (2020) due to the covid-19 pandemic form a great opportunity to promote options 2 and 3 for self guided tours combined with local directories of services so that self guiding tours can avail themselves of routine and emergy services as needed.

Sporty Trends global

Sporty Transport 

Segway minilite  – AMAZON

Current and proposed  transport trends include exciting variations for individual travel. Some potential transport trends have become main stream whereas others have been slow to gain acceptance and some have been blocked by regulators. Interesting trends in transport are the development of electric scooters, hoverboards and mobility scooters including brands such as Segwayelectric bicycles and drones. Factors that influence the movement to more sustainable pollution-lowering ‘environmentally- friendly’ transport solutions are increasing pollution due to internal combustion engines in urban areas, associated climate modifications due to these pollutants and the desire to have effective, efficient ways to be mobile at any age.  These factors have created a significant and increasing demand for electric-powered vehicles for individual transport.

The decrease in mobility with advancing age and the global trend for an increased life span trend has created increased demand for mobility scooters for the less physically active and injured members of the community.   Electric bicycles have many advantages over traditional bicycles particularly for mountain bikes for the over 50s who wish to be capable of high-energy adrenaline outdoor activity .  

Original military applications such as drones are evolving to have mainstream applications for leisure and personal transport.  Camera drones can be used in remote sensing of the environment and to capture special outdoors moments.  The use of larger drones as personal transport across traffic clogged streets that characterise our ever expanding city scapes  is being considered. however there are significant safety concerns and issues with civil aircraft in restricted zones that be need to be overcome.

Working lives of 1967/1969 UQ Graduates

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Is a compilation over 50 years of  evolving  geological work and the lives of a group of  geologists in an industry that has changed human civilisations. 

Working Lives

Working Lives covers geologists and their work covering 50 years,  1100 years of industry experience over 111 pages and  is depicted in a  book published in 2019 – ‘Working Lives’ compiled by three of that cohort, Bill Koppe, Peter Hayden and Bill Turner, with editorial support from Perth-based resources geologist Barry Avery.

The cover photograph shows a long-wheelbase Landrover up to its radiator in water during a river crossing in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo).

The foreword, written by Professor Sue Golding of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Queensland  (who was also one of the cohort) reinforces positive messages given by the 23 authors and notes: “The resources industries in Australia have seen spectacular growth since the 1970s with new resources and technologies such as coal seam gas and carbon capture and storage, provided a wider range of employment options for geoscience graduates. Opportunities for Australian geologists to work globally and increased emphasis on the environmental and social impacts of mining and production further expanded the employment options for geology/earth science graduates.” This is also shown in the course Earth Custodians 

The idea of a book was conceived at one of the UQ geology class of 1967/1969 reunions a few years ago. At this event it was felt that stories from geologists might offer valuable  insights for students  to contemplate a career in geology, as well as some useful ideas for geology students about to graduate. The book cobbles together the stories of nearly two dozen geologists, all of whom went on to pursue different types  of interesting and challenging careers involving the earth sciences, most of them in the field of economic geology.

Their stories, written from the heart are told in straightforward and often humorous individual styles and encapsulate geological experiences from the dawn of two post-war booms – and several busts – of the mineral resource cycles. These stories are intertwined within the spectacular growth, diversification and technical innovation that has characterised the Australian resources sectors over the last 50 years, and made it world-class with a presence now in many countries around the world. Apart from compilers Bill Koppe, Peter Hayden and Bill Turner, the other 20 stories come from Daud (Brian) Batchelor, Lindsay Bottomer, David Brunt, Neil Clifford, Barry Cotton, Leonard Cranfield, Alan Davies, Geoff Eupene, John Feros, Andrew Graham, Peter Gregory, Neil Krosch, Hamish Paterson, Nev Robinson, Peter Robinson, Roger Scott, John Siemon, Phil Smart, Eric Streitberg and Peter Vickerson.

As noted in the Introduction (part1) -“However, it was not always an easy road to success; many of their paths were potholed with retrenchment, collapsing companies, downsizing or they were victims of global downturns in the minerals industry as a result of depressed metal prices. Commonly, it was a case of where one door slammed shut on the progress of their careers, so another opened. Or in times of hardships, some turned to furthering their studies or adding to their qualifications to better position themselves for the next phase of their work in the industry”. Overwhelmingly, the members of the cohort are glad they chose to study geology, as it has enriched their appreciation of the natural world, added to their enjoyment of traveling through it, and given them the sense of accomplishment that comes from involvement in the discovery and development of economically important resources.

Publication details and purchase of the book

Design and publication of ‘Working Lives’ was done by that stalwart friend of the mining industry in print, Hesperian Press, which is based in Perth.  Working Lives, ISBN 978-0-85905-731-8, costs $30.00 plus $8.55 post Australia wide. Send your delivery details to and pay by bank direct, see and details under ‘order.’ Copies may also be picked up from the Hesperian office in Perth, see the website for more details.


Selected Amazon Books on Geology and Geological Processes

NEWS FLASH- book and course Custodians and Earth Custodians (Vision For Caring For Our Earth’s Ecosystem) are available . SEE- Main Menu: Custodians 


Custodians front cover of the book
Custodianss the book

The theme of humans being Custodians to supporting our earth that sustains us commenced through writing of the book Custodians – a vision for caring for our earth.  and the online course app /Earth Custodians.

The name ‘Earth Custodians’ includes being a custodian and working to sustain our ecosystem through knowledge and wisdom to solve problems humanity  has created progressively over the past 10000 years. These problems  have reached crisis levels in the Anthropocene   due to increases in technology and  rapidly increasing global populations that are dependent on an interconnected ecosystem. Humanity is now the major agent of change on earth.

Amazon book Kindle Version of the book and Author profile 

  1. DIGITAL VESTION: – Amazon Kindle book

Direct links are: Australia  –  

United Kingdom;


Author explanation page on Amazon:

The Practical Geologist: The Introductory Guide to the Basics of Geology and to Collecting and Identifying Rocks 

The Practical GeologistThis is a good starter book  introducing   geology, geological processes  to your personal pet rock and rock collection to a shiny mineral collection, this book is a great  introduction to the magic that is the science of the earth. 
It outlines the proposed history of the formation  of the earth and its geological processes that form and modify its composition, and its continents and oceans over time. The present landscapes are linked to surface weathering and erosional effects of weather and water. Check it out on Amazon


The aerial view of geology of the planet has dramatically enabled geologists to interpret the boundaries between rock bodies.  This beautifully illustrated book encompasses the aerial tour of  north Americas canyons , glaciers and towering peaks.  – A great  illustration of how geological landscapes can be interpreted. Great Coffee Table Book

essentials of geology
Stephen Marshall’s book on essentials of geology is an excellent book for those who want to know more about the science.  The scope of this book  encompasses much of the great images of classical geology. Check out this book  on Amazon.
The story of the earth the first 4.5 Billion years from stardust to living planet

Enjoy a human perspective of the first 4.5 Billion years of the evolution of Earth.  This perspective has been developed through our natural curiosity of how things happen. Science and scientific method has allowed the human race to have concepts through the development of language of  communicating our ideas of how things have happened in our beautiful blue planet.  It is a story of the evolution of a planet unique in its development in a galaxy that we as humans are aware of through our curiosity.  The stor

The Map that Changed the World

by Simon Winchester


To me this is a magical book looking at the work of William Smith an canal engineer who set the foundations of geology in the early part of the nineteenth century by creating the first modern style geological map of the united Kingdom.  The book outlines how Smith came to understand the link between his work in creating the series of canal that revolutionised transport of goods of the early part of the industrial revolution with the rocks that were being excavated to form the canal in southern and midland areas of the united Kingdom.

Check it out for an understanding of how maps are created

Discover the local geology of the San Francisco bay area. Find out about the local influences of the San Andreus Fault and how the fault movements have affected the local rock units in the area. A great read to discover more about the local geology and history of this exciting region of the USA.

Check out the unique geology of the bay area for yourself

This book and several more books on local geology of regions of the USA and important global destination can make great introduction to the concept of the ubiquitous nature of geological processes in affecting the natural world, human history and the development of global human civilisations. 

USA examples: 



This book is an illustrated field guide to assist interested geologist and would be geologists to understand how to identify local rock bodies. For those interested in finding about why geologists find rock bodies that they regard as their favourites this book is for you –Find out what make a geologist like his favourite rocks through this guide.- Check it out!

2.Geology Underfoot in Yosemite National Park First Edition

This guide to Yosemite National park is a definite buy for those who require basic  information om what to expect prior to going to Yosemite.  I suggest that is it prescribed  reading prior to gpoing to Yosemite and will continue to  inform  you as a references as you drive around the park and appreciate the wondrous  landscapes in this national park.  The book gave adequate  background and imagery to link the tourist with the landscapes and the geological processes that created them. Buy the book and better appreciate Yosemite. l



Take your time  plan your trip, buy this book and use it it for your next trip to Yosemite. You wont be disappointed as your experience in Yosemite will be enhanced for you your family and friends. It will be Great for your next trip to Yosemite.  Buy it before you go

Other books on geology of the USA for you to check out before you travel  

3. Ancient Wyoming: A Dozen Lost Worlds Based on the Geology of the Bighorn Basin

by Fulcrum Publishing

4. Maryland’s Geology

by Schiffer Pub Ltd

y is beyond the belief of logic and chance and makes amazing reading. Buy and enjoy