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Core library services and drillcore

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) recognizes the importance of retaining drillcore acquired during mineral and petroleum exploration in Western Australia (WA). Drillcore is an important tool for industry stakeholders to develop geological models and exploration programs.

WA has two purpose-built core libraries located in Perth and Kalgoorlie–Boulder. The core libraries are used to display and archive drillcore to assist subsequent exploration activity. Both facilities are administered by the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA), a division of DMP.

Access to drillcore information

An index of the drillcore and cuttings held by GSWA is available as a layer (Core Library Drill Holes) within the online system ‘Interactive Geological Map (GeoVIEW.WA)’ and through the WA Petroleum and Geothermal Information Management System (WAPIMS).

Petroleum core

Companies are required to submit cores, cuttings and sidewall core material obtained during drilling as part of the legislative requirements for petroleum andgeothermal exploration. These samples become available to the public after a strict confidentiality period.

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Mineral core

Flow of Mineral Core to GSWA core libraries

Selection of mineral core

Drillcore perceived as valuable to the minerals industry is archived. The selection criteria take into consideration GSWA’s need to promote the mineral prospectivity of WA. Core may be selected from:

  •  significant mines that have closed or are about to close in the near future
  • significant mineralization that illustrates a range of mineral commodities, styles of mineralization, or tectonic settings
  • deposits that illustrate a geographic distribution throughout the State
  • areas that may be difficult or expensive to redrill, e.g. urban areas, national parks, remote areas or deep holes
  • deposits that illustrate excellent examples of stratigraphy, significant structural features or unusual geological features
  • prospects or areas popular with the minerals industry including core from subeconomic prospects that may allow prospectors and mining companies to test innovative processes or ideas, or core from prospects that are under joint venture proposals and have a large demand for viewing.

See Selection criteria for minerals drillcore in the Western Australian core libraries for more information.

Submitting drillcore

All petroleum core should be sent to the Perth Core Library.

Mineral core from the Eastern Goldfields and the southeastern portion of WA should be submitted to the Joe Lord Core Library in Kalgoorlie. Core from the Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne, Murchison districts and the southwest of WA should be submitted to the Perth Core Library.

A small percentage of mineral core is stored in the core libraries. Companies must retain their own core archive, making it available to the DMP core library if requested. They must also provide three months written notice if they plan to destroy the core.

See Guidelines for the Submission and Delivery of Mineral Drillcore for more information on this process. Arrangements must be made with the Core Librarian prior to submission. Email address: corelibrary.submissions@dmp.wa.gov.au

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Viewing and sampling drillcore

Viewing drillcore

Industry stakeholders and members of the public are welcome to inspect drillcore archived at GSWA's core libraries in Perth and Kalgoorlie.

To make a booking to visit one of the core libraries and view the core, email corelibrary.requests@dmp.wa.gov.au.

Sampling drillcore

Sampling of drillcore is permitted on a case-by-case basis. Sampling is permitted only if the destruction of the drillcore will increase its scientific value. Sampling will not be allowed if less than a quarter of the core will remain after the proposed sampling.

Where sampling is approved, extraction will be performed by GSWA personnel.

As a condition of sampling, GSWA requires the sampler to submit a report detailing all findings and results of their analysis within six months of the sampling. After approval, this report will become public information. 

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Donating mineral drillcore

DMP welcomes donations of significant core (see Selection criteria above) drilled before 2006. Any tenement holder or company wishing to donate core should contact the Core Library Coordinator, Ann Fitton on 08 9222 3840 or email ann.fitton@dmp.wa.gov.au or corelibrary.submissions@dmp.wa.gov.au.

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