Building the Global Encyclopedia of Ore Deposits
Project No. :P1040 Status :Complete
AMIRA : Dr Alan Goode
Duration : 3 years

Data Metallogenica ( involves progressively building the global web-based encyclopaedia of ore deposits. It is a not-for-profit community enterprise owned by AMIRA International on behalf of the minerals industry. The initial seed funding from 1999 to 2004 to do this via AMIRA International projects (P554 and P554A) was provided by over 100 large and small companies plus government groups such as Geoscience Australia, all Australian state and territory geological surveys, the USGS, Geological Survey of Canada and several provincial surveys, plus professional groups such as the Geological Society of Australia, the Society of Economic Geologists, the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, the AusIMM and similar associations in Canada and Southern Africa, the PDAC, SME and AME BC. The initial phase involved purchasing and moving the original physical collection of representative samples from Canada and expanding it by 40% to cover over 3000-4000 deposits through 70,000 samples around the world, digitally photographing at high quality and placing on the web, together with spectral mineralogy of alteration for about 10% of the collection. Self-supporting growth since then has greatly increased the coverage of supporting data such as reports, maps, sections, photographs of field, core and petrography, as well as a full listing of all Australian geological theses from the Australian Geoscience Thesis Database (P874). About 70 full PhD and MSc theses from around the world have also been added to date. Much of the high quality material in DM is original, unique and irreplaceable. The next phase of building the global encyclopaedia of ore deposits will involve much faster growth of several main activities through increased annual funding through a new AMIRA project (P1040): Data Additions an extremely large backlog of high quality supporting digital technical material has already been accumulated from many sources, mainly companies, surveys and research groups for individual deposits and global commodity overviews, the main limiting growth factor being labour to add the material to the web. This growth is very likely to continue, and will be augmented by regional geological overviews. Website Upgrade improved, simplified and expanded navigational arrangement of material on the web, as well as increased and sophisticated searchability and translation options for 80 languages, including all European and Scandinavian languages, Arabic, Hindi, Farsi, Russian, Swahili, Chinese and most other Asian languages. Expansion Of Physical Collection continued growth of coverage and photography from missing key deposits around the world, including important contributions from the late Rod Kirkham in Vancouver Increased Interaction With Other Databases assessment and implementation of linked web facilities with other supporting quality international databases. The purpose of DM is to be a major global resource for education and training as well as reference for all economic geologists. It is accessible anywhere, anytime and is of particular value in developing countries in Asia, Africa and South America where many new mines will be developed in the future. It is designed for local (field) dial-up access if required. It is also a permanent repository of valuable and fragile past data, rapidly being lost, and will progressively include increased mining, mineral processing, environmental and other data. DM is already a major resource; its long term potential and value for the minerals industry is almost incalculable.

Research Providers

  • AMIRA International Limited
  • P1040 Advisory Panel