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WAXI - West African eXploration Initiative - stage 3

West Africa

The West African eXploration Initiative (WAXI) is an ambitious research and training program led by eight partner institutions, focused on the mineral potential of the West African Craton. This Initiative, which commenced in November 2006, is principally funded by the international Mining Industry and the Australian Government (AusAID & ARC), via an AMIRA International consortium. AMIRA International is an industry association dedicated to supporting collaborative minerals industry research.


The overall aim of West Africa Exploration Initiative is to enhance the exploration potential of the West African Craton through an integrated program of research and data gathering into its “anatomy’, and to augment the capacity of local institutions to undertake this form of work.  The capacity building activities for Stage 2 were completely underwritten by AusAID (the Australian Agency for International Development). The initiative covers the whole of the Leo-Man Shield and its immediate surrounds, and includes the following countries: Burkina Faso, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Ghana, The Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Niger, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Key motivations for undertaking this initiative are to assist exploration companies in focusing their activities in areas of maximum prospectivity and to help local Geological Surveys and Universities in the region in their role of providing pre-competitive data and information.
A 650Gb Exploration GIS has been developed with over 250 layers (80 unique to the WAXI project), which underpins our research and training activities, and continues to grow as new projects are carried out.

The WAXI project in numbers:
• 12 countries
• 73 partner organisations over 11 years
• 91 Postdoc, PhD, Masters and Honours Projects, half of them African
• 81 International Publications
• 650 GB exploration geoscience database
• 1800 person-days of technical training in West Africa
• 650,000 km2 of geophysically constrained geological mapping