W B Clarke Geoscience Centre
The Drill Core Library is a major drill core sample archiving and reference facility run by NSW Trade & Investment, Mineral Resources to support the mineral exploration industry in New South Wales.
The major core library at Londonderry in western Sydney was established in 1966 and renamed as W B Clarke Geoscience Centre in 2007. It is one of the most modern and comprehensive of its kind in the world. It offers a wide range of facilities including a highly mechanised and efficient retrieval system for inspection and sampling of drill core.
Auxiliary facilities at Gunnedah, Gulgong, Wyee Bay and Yerrinbool are focused on core from coal drill holes. In addition, a major new storage and sampling facility has been established at Broken Hill to handle material from the Broken Hill Main Lode and from regional exploration.
A wealth of data
The mineral industry spends tens of millions of dollars on exploration every year making a significant contribution to the state's economy.
Drilling is undertaken during mineral exploration in order to:
- establish the nature of rocks in a prospective area;
- directly sample possible ore-bearing material;
- establish stratigraphic sequences in the third dimension.
These samples are an important scientific and economic resource and would be very expensive to re-acquire. In some instances core can include materials which have been subsequently mined out or are otherwise unavailable.
Mineral exploration companies are required to offer drill core to the department upon relinquishing a lease. This core is evaluated by the department to establish its scientific, educational or economic value. Key drill holes or sample intervals of most value are systematically collected, indexed and stored.
The W B Clarke Geoscience Centre has acquired over one million metres (1000 km) of drill core comprising 50% from metalliferous exploration, 40% from coal exploration and 10% from other drilling programs such as geotechnical drilling.
The department collects core from field sites. Exploration companies with core to offer should contact the Core Librarian to determine arrangements.
Access to drill core
Access to core is free and has proved to be invaluable to geoscientists researching the geology and the prospectivity of an area. A large number of visitors each year make use of the Core Library facilities. To inspect drill core the Core Library Manager should be contacted prior to visiting the facility (see Contacts for details). A few days notice is required to ensure the necessary staff are available. It is advisable for occupational health and safety reasons that core inspection is made by two people to facilitate layout of core boxes.
Internet access to drill core information
The internet application, MinView, allows clients to determine the statewide location of drillholes, which holes are represented at the Core Library, and their index number for retrieval. MinView also provides a link to the DIGS system where the actual core downhole logs and other related information can be accessed. Clients can determine whether core for the selected location is available for viewing or sampling from the convenience of their own desktop.
- Click MinView. Then select the type of view required, e.g. the 'minerals' interface or 'titles' etc.
- Select the Core Library location layer from the list.
- Highlight an area on the map (by dragging the cursor across the map).
- View the list of drill core relevant to the area selected. This list shows the location of the material in the Core Library and also provides a link to the DIGS system.
- Log onto DIGS® to view the report containing the actual core downhole logs and other relevant information if available.
- Select drillholes for viewing of core and record the Core Library storage index number.
- Contact the Core Library Manager to arrange viewing and/or sampling of core.
The Core Library provides ancillary facilities for core sampling and cutting. Sampling can be undertaken under controlled conditions provided 25% of a sample is retained. Diamond saws are available for slicing core and slabbing rock. Sampling of the core can be used to validate previously recorded values of economic materials and where advances in technology allow a re-evaluation of known mineral concentrations.
Library location map and hours of opening
Inspection and sampling of drill core is free. When planning a visit to the core library, the Core Librarian must be contacted in advance (see contact details). The library is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm.
Location of the core library is shown below:
For further information about the Drill Core Library, please contact:
Steve Hall, Manager, Core Library
W B Clarke Geoscience Centre
947-953 Londonderry Road, Londonderry NSW 2753
Telephone: (02) 4777 0322
Facsimile: (02) 4777 4397
Graham Butt, Manager
Geological Survey of NSW
Industry & Investment NSW
516 High St, Maitland NSW
(PO Box 344, Hunter Region Mail Centre 2310)
Telephone: +61 2 4931 6588
Toll Free: 1300 736 122
Fax: +61 2 4931 6789