Geological and geophysical features of the Australian continental crust follow systematic distribution patterns characterized by major linear discontinuities, or lineaments. These lineaments form the floor plan of the regional tectonic framework, and appear to represent fundamental crustal thresholds and corridors of disturbance along which maximum crustal energies have been channelled. The effects are variously expressed as lineament-associated intensifications of intrusion, deposition, dislocation, deformation, metamorphism and mineralization. In Australia, over two decades of systematic study led to the recognition that major Australian ore deposits are related to major lineaments. This was a retrospective observation that established the relation for known deposits. The subsequent prospective use of the relation in mineral exploration is exemplified in the discovery of the giant lineament-related Olympic Dam Cu--U--Au deposit at Roxby Downs, South Australia. Major Australian examples of the lineament--ore relation are described in comparison with apparently similar relations in North America, and these are briefly considered in regional and global contexts.