Core library services and drillcore

Core library services and drillcore

The department recognises the importance of storing drillcore acquired during mineral and petroleum exploration in Western Australia. Drillcore is an important tool for industry stakeholders to develop geological models and exploration programs.

Western Australia has two purpose-built core libraries, including the Perth Core Library, located in Carlisle, and the Joe Lord Core Library in Kalgoorlie. 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).

The Perth Core Library houses the HyLogger spectral scanner, a rapid spectroscopic logging and imaging system that uses continuous visible and infrared spectroscopy and digital imaging to safely examine core, samples and cuttings.

Viewing area at the Joe Lord Core Library in Kalgoorlie
Viewing area at the Joe Lord Core Library in Kalgoorlie
Core stacked in shelving at the Perth Core Library
Core stacked in shelving at the Perth Core Library

Petroleum core

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

Mineral core

Flow of mineral core to GSWA core libraries
Flow of mineral core to GSWA core libraries

Drillcore perceived as valuable to the minerals industry is archived by the department. The selection criteria take into consideration the department's need to promote the mineral prospectivity of Western Australia. Record 2002/14 Selection criteria for mineral drillcore in the Western Australian core libraries describes the method used for the selection of mineral drillcore for the core libraries.

Core may be selected from:

  • significant mines that have closed or are soon to close
  • significant mineralisation that illustrates a range of mineral commodities, styles of mineralisation, or tectonic settings
  • deposits that illustrate a geographic distribution throughout the State
  • areas that may be difficult or expensive to redrill, such as urban areas, national parks, remote areas or deep holes
  • deposits that are 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.

Submitting drillcore

Mineral Core from the Eastern Goldfields
Mineral core in trays

All petroleum core should be sent to the Perth Core Library. Processing petroleum drillcore into trays: Perth Core Library guidelines outlines the standard process for those handling and viewing drillcore. It covers the best practices for processing drillcore into trays, common mistakes when processing drillcore into trays, and ordering core trays.

Mineral core from the Eastern Goldfields and the southeastern portion of Western Australia should be submitted to the Joe Lord Core Library in Kalgoorlie.

Mineral core from the Kimberley, Pilbara, Gascoyne, Murchison districts and the southwest of Western Australia 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 department core library if requested. They must also provide three months’ written notice if they plan to destroy the core.

Guidelines for the submission and delivery of mineral drillcore provides more information on this process and access to the relevant forms.

Arrangements must be made with the Core Librarian prior to submission.

Viewing drillcore

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

To make a booking to visit one of the core libraries and view the core, email

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.

Donating mineral drillcore

The department welcomes donations of significant core drilled before 2006.

Any tenement holder or company wishing to donate core should contact:
Core Library Coordinator
Phone: (08) 9222 3840

Perth Core Library

For more information, contact:

Perth Core Library
37 Harris Street, Carlisle WA 6101
Phone: 08 9470 0305
Email: or
See address on Google Maps

Joe Lord Core Library
Corner Broadwood & Hunter Streets, West Kalgoorlie WA 6430
Phone: 08 9022 0410
Email: or
See address on Google Maps