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Plan for Accelerating Exploration

The Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) is aimed at advancing resource exploration and mining developments in South Australia.

New announcements

  • PACE Frontiers discovery drilling 2015
    Continuing the highly successful drilling collaborations program between the South Australian Government and the exploration industry PACE Frontiers discovery drilling 2015 will support drilling in frontier areas of the state and areas with known economic mineral potential.

    Applications from the resource exploration industry in South Australia are invited. Submissions due no later than 5.00pm 30 January 2015.

    Application forms and guidelines 

  • PACE Frontiers mineral systems drill program 2015
    Successful applicants announced at the South Australian Exploration and Mining Conference 5 December 2014

    More about the mineral systems drill program, successful applicants and regions


On this page
About PACE
PACE Frontiers
PACE 2020
The initial PACE
Strategic linkages
Contact for more information

About PACE

PACE has had a core focus on economic stimulation, accessibility to land, development of sustainable exploration and mining, increasing cultural awareness and balancing development with the environment.

It has been the driving force behind growth in the mining sector in South Australia:

  • leveraging existing successes in exploration
  • focusing on new areas for exploration, and
  • developing best practice mine development processes.

PACE also builds on our world-class service to the mining sector by providing online geological and geophysical information to support the industry in exploration. The initiative has a direct line of sight through the resources value chain, working to streamline the process of exploration to mine development, ensuring a timely and transparent approval process.

PACE and the programs and projects it funds directly support and influence:

  • The capture and interpretation of regional geophysical precompetitive data sets (including gravity, magnetic, radiometric and electromagnetic datasets)
  • Innovative geoscience projects within the Geological Survey of South Australia
  • Collaborative geoscientific programs with the industry (including drilling), universities and state and federal government agencies
  • The distribution of new and historic geoscientific data to the industry, investors and the general public
  • Development of streamlined, best practice mining approval and development processes
  • The delivery of workshops, guidelines and toolkits that engage the industry with regional communities and landholders
  • Continued cultural exchanges between the regional communities, the industry and government
  • The promotion of South Australia’s mineral wealth, both nationally and internationally.

The success of that investment is now internationally recognised and the model has been emulated by other jurisdictions in Australia and overseas.

PACE Frontiers

PACE Frontiers is the current generation PACE initiative and the precompetitive geoscience initiative operated by the South Australian Government.

PACE Frontiers began as a two year, $4 million initiative launched as part of the 2013/4 State Budget specifically focused on addressing the high investment risk and support needed for mineral exploration in two main types of frontiers:

  • Geological/geographical frontiers of South Australia where precompetitive geoscience data is typically sparse and regional mineral prospectivity is poorly established
  • Technical and knowledge frontiers in regions with a better established prospectivity but with challenging exploration settings, such as into and through the deep cover search space.

PACE Frontiers focuses on reinvigorating the South Australian exploration industry, the engine room for new resources discovery and the feeder for the minerals and energy project pipeline.

In 2014 a further $4 million was committed over four years to ensure critical programs operate until 2018.

More information about PACE Frontiers and its work programs

PACE 2020

In 2010 the announcement of PACE 2020 saw the evolution of PACE and the introduction of a broader range of programs. PACE 2020 diversified its suite of projects to extend further through the minerals value chain from exploration through to project development and mining.

PACE 2020 was valued at $10.2 million between 2010 and 2014. It focused on four key work programs specifically designed to drive forward mining development, and continued to act as the primary mechanism in building South Australia's international profile and strengthening investor confidence in the state's resources sector.

More about PACE 2020 programs and outcomes 

The initial PACE

PACE was launched in April 2004 and quickly gained worldwide recognition as an extremely successful government mineral resources initiative.

Initially launched as a $22.5 million 5-year initiative, in 2007 PACE was extended by two years with an additional funding of $8.4 million bringing total funding to $30.9 million over 7 years (2004–2011).

PACE report 2004–2009

Strategic linkages

PACE is a key element in meeting and exceeding the State Strategic Plan Targets for Mineral Exploration (41), Production and Processing (42) and Industry Collaboration (95).

More recently PACE 2020 and PACE Frontiers are an integral component in meeting both:

Priority One of the South Australian Government’s Ten Economic Priorities – “Unlocking the full potential of South Australia’s resources, energy and renewable assets”, and

Priority Seven of the State Strategic Priorities – “Realising the benefits of the mining boom for all”.

The initiative also links South Australia directly into the National Mineral Exploration Strategy as well as the national UNCOVER initiative with major initiatives including:

  • Renewed commitment to generation and delivery of government-funded precompetitive geoscience from all jurisdictions
  • A refreshed approach to the promotion of Australia as the lead destination for investment in mineral exploration and mining through a mineral exploration investment attraction plan
  • A National Geoscience Research Initiative, which will be a cross-institutional research venture focused on delivering the applied geoscience needed for industry to better explore under the covered greenfield areas of Australia.


The resources sector is a critical part of South Australia’s economy and investment in the exploration for new mineral and energy resources is the foundation on which the sector is built.

Exploration and discovery is the foundation on which all development in mining and the production of energy rests and it plays an important role in the prosperity of South Australia.

To assist this high risk venture, state governments freely provide valuable exploration-specific data and research (often termed precompetitive geoscience) as well as offer opportunities to collaborate with the government to encourage resource exploration.

South Australia has a history spanning two decades of such targeted initiatives including:

Since 2004, the flagship initiative tasked with bringing forward exploration in South Australia is the Plan for Accelerating Exploration or PACE initiative.

The PACE initiative followed from an Economic Development Board recommendation that in order to develop a truly significant minerals and energy sector the government needed to further invest in the sector, in order to bring forward or accelerate the rate of exploration leading to discovery.

PACE was initially launched as a $22.5 million 5-year initiative but in 2007 was extended by two years and $8.4 million bringing total funding to $30.9 million over 7 years (2004–2011).

For more information contact:

General Manager PACE
Mr Miles Davies
Phone: +61 8 8463 3159
Email: Miles.Davies@sa.gov.au

PACE Marketing
Jayne Osborne
Phone: +61 8 8463 3012
Email: Jayne.Osborne@sa.gov.au