The collection is continually expanding with South Australian explorers generating around one million metres of mineral and 50,000 metres of petroleum drill core and cuttings annually.

The ability for mineral and petroleum explorers to access information from past exploration efforts provides an important advantage in guiding future programs before undertaking the expensive process of new drilling.

Drill core and rock samples

The South Australia Drill Core Reference Library is home to 7.5 million metres of drill core and cuttings and over 8,000 rock samples, making it the most comprehensive and complete archive of South Australia’s geology. This archive can be studied in the drill sample inspection area at the core library.

Information about the drill core, drill cuttings and rock samples currently stored in the core library is available from:

More information about inspecting drill core and rock samples

National Virtual Core Library

Drill core held at the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library is being systematically scanned using HyLoggerTM technology and the data uploaded to the AuScope National Virtual Core Library (NVCL).

HyLogger data on SARIG and the NVCL allows researchers and explorers to view high resolution drill core imagery and associated spectral data online, as an adjunct to visiting the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library.


The Geological Survey of South Australia has been collecting biostratigraphic reference material from drilling programs, geological mapping, and mining activities in South Australia for over 100 years.

Used extensively for research and in mapping programs, many of these specimens have been key to determining the timing of important geological events and defining South Australia’s stratigraphy.

The collection of over 100,000 specimens includes:

  • A palynology slide collection, including acritarchs
  • A plant cuticle slide collection
  • A selection of reference drillhole material where important stratigraphic microfossils were discovered
  • A foraminifera collection, including slides, washed and unwashed samples
  • A mollusca collection of samples and specimens including “The Ludbrook Collection” of over 4,000 named mollusca and foraminifera. These were collected mainly from the Pliocene in the Adelaide region and Cretaceous material from the Eromanga Basin
  • A stromatolite collection
  • A collection of South Australian, interstate and overseas, type section and biostratigraphic reference material

Material from these collections can be accessed by universities and research institutions, conditions apply. Contact the core library for more information.

Data Metallogenica

AMIRA's Data Metallogenica (DM) is the world’s largest mineral deposit database, providing online access to technical data for over 5,000 ore deposits from around the world.

The Geological Survey of South Australia is the custodian of the DM physical collection, which is housed at the Drill Core Reference Library. The physical collection of representative samples from over 5,000 deposits is comprised of ~70,000 small samples (Lithotheque), and larger hand-specimens (Macrotheque) arranged by geological setting using a mineral systems approach.

The DM physical collection is available for supervised inspection to AMIRA sponsors and professional geologists. Contact the core library for more information.

High resolution photographs of samples and associated mineral deposit information is available from the AMIRA Data Metallogenica online global encyclopedia of ore deposits.

Contact information

5 Tonsley Boulevard
Clovelly Park SA 5042

+61 8 8379 9574

GPO Box 320
Adelaide SA 5001