SA Mines and Energy Journal : June 2009
JUNE/JULY 2009 SA MINES & ENERGY JOURNAL 30 FEATURE Adelaide is home to a world-class collection of minerals, but you wouldn't know. The whole collection languishes in containers for want of a proper home -- and has done since 2005. The core library was initially a treasury of geo-information from South Australia owned by the State Government, but it became much more than that. An ambitious project managed by the Australian Mineral Foundation (AMF) with AMIRA International began in 1999. A container from Canada with 15 tonnes of material was delivered to Glenside. With the help of sponsors, AMF and AMIRA gradually developed the samples into a multidisciplinary system named Data Metallogenica, and took the collection online so the information could be shared around the world. The collection was carefully selected and logically organised with miniaturised samples of rocks and ores from plates. The plates were stored, like books, in slotted portable containers. Each plate of up to 20 samples, called lithotheque, represented one ore deposit. This method was conceived by Peter and Sarka Laznicka on behalf of Australia Selection Pty Ltd. Professor Laznicka further developed the method over many years. Some 5000 samples were photographed at very high resolution. Also, the lithotheque images on the website provide subscribers with field photos, graphics, PIMA spectra and other material (PIMA is a portable infrared mineral analyser). This work is not yet complete and material is continuously added. Until 2005, people could physically examine tens of thousands of selected samples from mineral deposits of the world, non-destructively test some of them, read relevant reprints and field notes, and peruse thousands of field photos and slides. All under one roof at Glenside. Minerals looking for a home An important minerals library has been hidden from view since the Australian Mineral Foundation ceased operations, writes Anne Walker, SACOME Director, Industry Marketing. A mineral explorer should see and touch what one is to look for.
April May 2009