Queensland’s biggest “rock library” is fuelling cheaper, faster mineral, petroleum and coal exploration after a $5 million expansion.
Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham officially opened the expanded Exploration Data Centre at suburban Zillmere on Brisbane’s northside this week.
The centre houses 810km of rock samples essential to explorers and academics.
“This is where our multi-billion dollar resources industry has its roots,” Dr Lynham said.
“The core samples and the low-cost, expert analysis done here are the lifeblood of an industry that has helped to develop our state, to fund our infrastructure, and continues to provide thousands of jobs today.
“This expansion will drive cheaper, faster exploration.”
The Zillmere Exploration Data Centre, originally built in 1979, stores core rock samples that would span more than 810km if laid out lengthways. It holds samples from CSG wells, water bores and 11,600 exploration holes collected over a century of exploration across Queensland.
Explorers pay a small fee to access a core sample from the area they are looking into, and have it assessed.
The centre analyses the mineral content of rock samples using Queensland’s only CSIRO-developed HyLogger system. Explorers are obliged to share the information the analysis provides with the centre.
The centre also provides digital geoscience data and company exploration reports to resource companies planning future exploration.
“Exploration is vital to discovering the resources that will drive the mines and jobs of the future and underpin ongoing economic growth for Queensland and our regional communities,” Dr Lynham said.
The Department of Public Works and Housing managed the project, which supported 70 jobs for architects, engineers, project managers, carpenters, electricians, roofers, form workers, plumbers and concreters over seven months.