Run by copper and gold miner OZ Minerals and technology accelerator Unearthed, the Explorer Challenge will give OZ access to thousands of scientists' ideas and data, bolstering its relatively small team of in-house geologists.
It will be held on the Mount Woods exploration tenement, which is near OZ's Prominent Hill copper-gold mine in the north of South Australia.
OZ Minerals' CEO Andrew Cole said the challenge presented a number of benefits and helps OZ gain insights and find new approaches to push the boundaries of its geological understanding of the area.
"The challenge is a continuation of our digital transformation journey, which we started two years ago when we migrated all our exploration data to the Amazon Web Service cloud," he said.
"We want to find ways to work smarter with all the data we've got, not just geological data, and challenge existing concepts of how we are harnessing it."
Unearthed founding director Justin Strharsky said mineral exploration was difficult and economic mineral deposits were rare.
"During the exploration process, the iterative process of collecting different datasets, followed by geological interpretation, can take a very long time," he said.
"The Explorer Challenge will speed up the exploration lifecycle and allow us to analyse information at a much faster rate than before."
Strharsky said the competition was a real example of the future of work within the industry in general, and exploration in particular.
"Organisations must understand the business-as-usual approach in this industry will no longer suffice," he said.
"The traditional borders of our companies must be expanded virtually to include people with different skills and perspectives from around the world [so] if your approach to digital skills is to hire people who happen to live near your headquarters on the basis of a CV or a degree from a school you recognise, you're doing it wrong."
The competition does not just offer $1 million in prize money. Participants will also vie for the chance to see their winning model tested in real life, with the top targets scheduled to be drilled next year.
Entries close for the Explorer Challenge in May 2019, with the winners to be announced in June.