Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis today announced the start of construction on a new $32.2 million Drill Core Reference Library to house the State’s mineral and petroleum treasures.
Bringing together more than 7.5 million metres of drill core material held in four libraries across the State, the new library will be at the heart of the expanding resources precinct at Tonsley.
Hansen Yuncken has been appointed the managing contractor for the project, which is estimated to create up to 100 jobs during construction.
Mr Koutsantonis said the modern facility will be a one-stop-shop for industry and geoscience explorers seeking easy access to the State’s inventory of drill cores generated from historical and recent exploration efforts, enabling companies to better target potential discoveries.
“Drilling is one of the most expensive activities undertaken by an explorer,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
“In a state where our ore bodies are more likely to be under cover, refining search targets before the expensive process of drilling begins provides an important advantage.
“The new library will help companies better pinpoint their search.
“As exploration licences often change hands, access to these cores can also avoid the need to redrill ground which in turn further drives our exploration dollar.”
The new library’s collection will include samples which date back to 1886 and it will have the capacity to store new reference drill cores and rock cutting samples for the next 20+ years.
Each year, more than 900,000 metres of mineral drilling and 50,000 metres of petroleum drilling are completed by industry, with about 30,000 metres of the best representative drill core samples retained as permanent reference material.
“The new library will be a massive data bank carved in stone. It will not only provide a record of the past but opportunities for the future,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
“It was instrumental in both the discovery of Olympic Dam and BP’s decision to invest $1.5 billion in its offshore exploratory program in the Great Australian Bight.
“Our $32.2 million investment will help advance new discoveries and mining and energy developments over the next 20+ years, contributing to the generation of an estimated $6.5 billion in royalties.”
The new purpose-built facility will feature modern viewing rooms, access to geoscience information and related services, an industry workshop and education facilities.
It will be home to one of the world’s best ore deposits reference collections, a Data Metallogenica room and a palaeontology area to house the State’s fossil collection.
The Drill Core Reference Library is expected to open in early 2016.
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