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 last week in Brisbane’s northside. The centre houses 810km of rock samples essential to explorers and academics.
“This is the 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, currently stores core rock samples that would span more than 810 kilometres 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.
Member for Nudgee Leanne Linard said the $5 million expansion of the data centre has doubled its capacity
“The centre can now provide storage for more than 3000 new pallets of core rock samples and cuttings,” Ms Linard said.
“This facility has been a part of the local community since the late seventies, and following this expansion will help support the Queensland resource sector for years to come.
“The centre is also helping to kick-start the careers of the resource sector’s future workforce and drive innovation, by supporting teaching and research projects for academia, including the University of Queensland’s School of Earth Sciences.”
The Department of Public Works and Housing managed the project, which supported 70 jobsfor architects, engineers, project managers, carpenters, electricians, roofers, form workers, plumbers and concreters over seven months.