Core library expansion to boost mineral search

11 December 2015) The awarding of a $5.1 million building contract will support up to 70 jobs and kickstart a major expansion of the Perth Core Library, a vital resource in the search for new mineral, gas and oil discoveries across Western Australia.

Announcing the successful tenderer, Firm Construction Pty Ltd, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion said the State Government project had national significance.

A core sample is a cylindrical section drilled out of sediment or rock with a hollow steel drill and analysed to test its properties. More than 400 kilometres of core is stored in the Perth Core Library in Carlisle.

“The library stores and showcases WA and Commonwealth drill samples crucial to new exploration research,” Mr Marmion said.

“This expansion will not only support up to 70 project management and contractor jobs now, it will create a facility that will help drive job-creating mineral and petroleum discoveries in the future.”

The core warehouse will be enlarged by about 50 per cent, or 3,500 square metres, along with extra viewing space for geologists to examine drill core.  There will also be a conference room and larger facilities to house a high-speed spectroscopic imaging system known as a HyLogger, which is being used to create a virtual, online core library.

The building contract is part of an expansion project valued at up to $7.3 million. Construction is expected to start in the first half of 2016 and is expected to be completed in November 2016.

“This world-class facility is in constant use by companies and prospectors working to find the mines and petroleum fields of tomorrow,” he said.

“Viewing of core inside the library has increased 300 per cent since 2006, so this is an extremely important investment for geologists and researchers.”

Mr Marmion said exploration activity generated by the State Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) meant the core library was filling rapidly, with 90 per cent of existing storage space now in use.

Samples date back more than a century and have been sourced from government-funded drilling, mineral industry donations, industry onshore and offshore petroleum drilling, and EIS co-funded drilling.

The Perth Core Library is also the western hub of the National Offshore Petroleum Data and Core Repository and stores two-thirds of all Commonwealth-managed petroleum core derived from offshore drilling around the nation.

The announcement in full is here.