Government of Western Australia Official Site


Nation’s largest core library to drive discovery of new resources


Perth will soon host Australia’s biggest and newest drill core facility, with construction currently under way as part of a $7.3 million transformation of the Perth Core Library. Launching the $5.1 million main construction stage on the 29th January, Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Marmion and Commonwealth Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the historic library would be extended and modernised, increasing its capacity to drive the discovery of new resources.

“In the case of the core library, bigger is definitely better,” Mr Marmion said. “I thank the Commonwealth Government for its $1.2 million contribution, which will help this expansion yield not only a nation-leading facility but a world-class exploration resource. With the challenges facing the industry, it is crucial we do everything possible to promote new mining and petroleum developments and the jobs and innovations they will deliver.”

The library contains samples dating back to the 1890s and now stores more than 500 kilometres of drill core from government drilling; mineral industry donations; industry onshore and offshore petroleum drilling; and Exploration Incentive Scheme co-funded drilling. The expansion will extend its capacity by 3,500 square metres, allowing storage of 14,300 pallets, or about 1,000 kilometres, of core.

It will also expand the viewing space for geologists and extend facilities to house the high-speed spectroscopic HyLogger imaging system, which is being used to create a virtual, online core library.

“The Commonwealth recognises the importance of maintaining world-class management of petroleum data and samples,” Mr Cormann said. “We are pleased to support the redevelopment project by making a direct contribution.”

Mining and petroleum companies, prospectors and researchers constantly use the facility to help guide exploration programs. Viewing of cores inside the library has increased 300 per cent since 2006. 

The Perth Core Library is also the western hub of the National Offshore Petroleum Data and Core Repository and stores two-thirds of all Commonwealth-managed petroleum core derived from offshore drilling around the nation. The national petroleum core is stored under an agreement between the Geological Survey of Western Australia, Geoscience Australia and the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator.

“The core library project dovetails with the State Government’s successful $130 million Exploration Incentive Scheme,” Mr Marmion said. “By helping focus exploration, the information available at the core library can potentially save the industry millions of dollars.”

The expansion project is expected to be completed in November 2016.