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A state-of-the-art facility which will help uncover the next wave of resource discoveries was officially opened today (17 February 2016).

Premier Jay Weatherill said the new $32.2 million South Australia Drill Core Reference Library, at the expanding Tonsley precinct, is a priceless collection of the State’s geology.

“This flagship facility will bring together more than 7.5 million metres of drill core samples from across the State, capturing more than 100 years of exploration,” Mr Weatherill said.

“It is 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.

“It will boost exploration opportunities, unlocking the potential of South Australia’s resource wealth for many decades.”

Mr Weatherill said drill core samples were instrumental in major mineral and energy discoveries such as Olympic Dam and the Cooper Basin more than forty years ago.

“These projects continue to reap economic rewards to this day through exports, jobs for more than 3000 people, and ongoing royalty income,” he said.

Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said all world-class ore bodies and major mines in South Australia began with drill holes.

“We have relatively deep resources in this State and drilling individual holes is expensive,” Mr Koutsantonis said.

“This drill core library will enable explorers to highlight areas of real potential, and assist them in spending their exploration dollars more effectively.

“This valuable collection, together with the State’s freely available exploration reports, data, information and latest modern drill core scanning systems, provide an important advantage in the ongoing search for mineral ore deposits and petroleum resources.

“Our investment to preserve this treasure of geological information is vital to guide further exploration and develop a pipeline of new mining and energy developments for decades.

“Harnessing all the knowledge and technologies here, we can expect as many mineral exploration discoveries to be made directly from this building, as will be made in the field.”

The Drill Core Library incorporates a drill core viewing area, conference and education rooms and the latest 3D facilities that provide scientists with a 3D view of geology and mineral deposits under the earth’s surface.

The facility also provides direct access to South Australia’s extensive library of geoscience information through SARIG (South Australian Resource Information Geoserver).

The construction of the building included:

  • 236 tonnes of Australian steel from Whyalla
  • an on-site labour force totalling 87,100 hours
  • a total of 665 people working on the project site during the 12 months (with an average 45 people on site daily).

Bedford Group, Australia’s second-largest employer of people with disabilities, also designed and manufactured 8000 storage pallets for the facility.

Partners in the build included Aurecon, Thomson Rossi, Hansen Yuncken, Bianco Precast, Boral and Adelaide Brighton Cement and the specialist drill core viewing tables were manufactured by Southeast Conveyors.

News release 17 February 2016