Geoscience Reference Collection

The Exploration Data Centre, located in Zillmere, and the John Campbell Miles Drill Core Facility in Mount Isa, are managed by the Department of Resources and store Queensland’s physical collection of geoscientific samples. The collection is primarily for use by mineral and energy resource sector participants from industry and academia to improve geological understanding and associated economic potential of the state.

State scientific collection

The collections held at Zillmere and Mt Isa provide an extensive array of geological samples maintained by the Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ) and include the following types of samples:

  • drill core and cuttings from government and company exploration programs
  • rock/geochemical samples and petrographic thin sections from the Geological Survey of Queensland regional mapping and mineral occurrence studies.

Case study – Northwest Mineral Province Deposit Atlas

Image of some of the Geoscience Reference CollectionOpen larger image

Geoscience Reference Collection.

Exploration and discovery of new deposits of minerals essential for society is an increasingly difficult and expensive task, due to increasing resource scarcity and the need to push the frontiers of discovery into deeper and more difficult terrains.

As increasing cost and difficulty makes new discoveries ever more challenging, optimal use of existing data and information with which to make new insights and improves exploration.

GSQ has assembled all available existing data for key mineral deposits in that region (Northwestern Queensland) into integrated data “atlases” ( to help geoscientists understand the signatures of these major deposits. The series of 28 deposits across the northwest minerals province modelled in this way have proven invaluable to industry explorers, allowing for new insights into the mechanisms of mineral formation and occurrence. The data sets included in the atlases included digital representation of the samples held in the core collections at Zillmere and Mt Isa, allowing explorers to view in real life the actual samples and conduct further analysis on them.

The integration of physical and digital data and information is important in aiding new discovery, creating vast public benefit from industry development including investment, employment, regional development and supply of essential materials to local and world markets.

Access to the collection

You can access online catalogues of the material held at the Exploration Data Centre via the GSQ Open Data portal

Researchers, mining/exploration industry representatives, geotechnical engineers and government officers can access drill core and cuttings upon prior arrangement.


Collection Manager