In July 2013 the three partners secured $12 million funding for an Advanced Resource Characterisation Facility (ARCF), dedicated to addressing fundamental science questions related to the resources sector.
Combined with four-dimensional data integration provided by the new Pawsey Centre supercomputer, the ARCF will develop into a ground-breaking research facility that will provide a resource focus unmatched anywhere in the world.
The ARCF will comprise three cutting-edge research tools not co-located anywhere else in the world: a Maia Mapper developed by and housed at CSIRO; a Geoscience Atom Probe at Curtin University; and a new NanoSIMS to be located at UWA .
- The Maia Mapper will capture previously unattainable spatial chemical detail in real-time and on a centimeter-to-micron scale
- The Geoscience Atom Probe achieves sub-nanometer 3-dimensional spatial resolution of minerals
- The NanoSIMS combines high-resolution imaging with mass spectrometry and is able to determine the isotopic composition of minerals at micron-scale
The capability of the ARCF will improve success in challenging exploration environments and will offer levels of analytical precision, accuracy, sensitivity and spatial resolution previously unseen. The equipment will have applications ranging from hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basins to ore deposits.
Data from the new facility will be resolved in the 3D context, enabling geological interpretation and application to exploration, geometallurgy, processing, production and environmental sustainability.