The Queensland Government is expanding the Mount Isa “rock library” with a $550,0000 upgrade to make it easier for explorers to find the next big mining prospect.
The Mount Isa core library, located in the Kalkadoon Industrial Estate, holds samples from the richest deposits in the region, including the Mount Isa copper and lead mines, Ernest Henry, George Fisher, Cannington, SWAN/Mount Elliott and Capricorn Copper.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said an expanded and upgraded Mount Isa drill core facility would support future resources projects and jobs as part of the Queensland Government’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
“The drill core library and its 230 kilometres of drill core samples are critical for explorers and geoscientists, as well as university students who are our next generation of industry professionals,” Stewart said.
“The $550,0000 upgrade underway will provide a dedicated core viewing facility that will make it easier for more people to access and study cores.
“The viewing facility will provide a climate-controlled, dust-free, well-lit space for scientists and explorers to undertake their studies and core-logging activities.
“As scientists’ geological knowledge and understanding expands, even the oldest drill core can provide new insights and evidence of potential mineral deposits.”
The core library and its twin in Brisbane provide access to samples collected over the past 130 years by previous explorers, state government drilling programs and mining industry-government collaborations.
“As demand grows across the globe for new economy minerals, this upgraded drill core facility will be vital for explorers working to uncover new deposits, supporting communities in the North West – and Queensland’s economy – into the future,” Stewart said
“My department is using local contractors for the project, supporting 15 jobs for the duration of the construction phase.”
The Brisbane centre was originally built in 1979 and has samples from CSG (coal seam gas) wells, water bores, and 11,600 exploration holes collected over 100 years of exploration across the state.
Explorers pay a small fee to access a sample from the area they are looking into and have it assessed, with the centre analysing the mineral content.
The centre also provides digital geoscience data and company exploration reports to resource companies planning future exploration.
The expansion project is due for completion by June 2022.