In 1997 AMIRA International was approached by Dr Peter Laznicka to undertake custodianship of the Data Metallogenica collection for the benefit of the minerals industry. In early 1999 funding was secured from companies, institutions and the South Australian government under the auspices of AMIRA as Project P554 Data Metallogenica. A joint venture was formed with the Australian Mineral Foundation (AMF) in Adelaide as an appropriate industry association responsible for continuing education, training and information management in the minerals industry. In mid-1999 the collection was acquired and moved with the Laznicka family moved to Adelaide. The Data Metallogenica Centre was established close to the AMF Headquarters building, with the financial (grant) assistance of the South Australian Government. The AMF ceased operation in December 2001 and AMIRA International assumed full control of Data Metallogenica. It is now secure and available to the industry both as the physical collection in Adelaide and via the web (the latter through payment of an annual subscription).

In addition to establishing the DM Centre, P554 produced on time and within budget:

  • An initial Data Metallogenica web site with searchable subscriber database containing 20,000 files (2.5 gigabytes of data).
  • Digital images of all Lithotheque sample sets (3,000) and 1,200 single samples;
  • 7,500 new Lithotheque mini-samples (North America 7%, Southern Africa 20%, South America 30%, Australia 43%) and a large number of Macrotheque hand specimens, in addition to the original collection;
  • Geocoding of all Lithotheque sample sets;
  • 5,500 interpreted (PIMA-II) reflectance measurements of all porphyry-epithermal samples in DM, plus selected VMS, SEDEX, FeOx-Cu-Au;
  • Description sheets ("Legends") to accompany all new Lithotheque sets and significant revision of most older sheets;
  • Major curation of the collections and support data;
  • A stand-alone searchable image catalogue;
  • A demonstration CD-ROM with extensive data examples;
  • 140 new thin sections.

Sponsors of AMIRA International Project P554 (1999-2002) – total A$953,750

Gold (A$9,000 per annum for 3 years)

Anglo American (through Minorco), AngloGold Ashanti (through Acacia Gold), Barrick (through Aurion Gold, Delta Gold, Homestake, Placer Dome, Ross Mining), BHP Billiton (through BHP, Billiton, WMC), Centaur, Codelco, CSIRO Exploration & Mining, Geoscience Australia, Gold Fields, MMG (through Pasminco), Newcrest (also through Equigold), Newmont (through Normandy), Rio Tinto (also through North), St Barbara (through Western Metals), Xstrata (through MIM and also Jubilee Mines).

Additional corporate donations to assist the early growth of DM were also made by Anglo American, AngloGold Ashanti, Centaur, N M Rothschild & Sons (Aust), Newcrest, Normandy, North, Rio Tinto, WMC.

Silver (A$2,000 per annum for 3 years)

Alkane, Boyer Exploration, CBH Resources (through Triako Resources), Coffey Mining (through RSG Global), Croesus, DMITRE (South Australian Department of Manufacturing Innovation Trade Resources Energy, originally as Primary Industries & Resources South Australia), Eldorado (through Sino Gold), Gawler Gold, Geological Survey of Western Australia, Georeality, Gindalbie Metals (through Gindalbie Gold), Guardian Resources, Harmony (through New Hampton Goldfields), Helix Resources, Highlands Pacific, Independence Group, Ivanhoe Mines, Kagara Zinc, Kingsgate (also though Dominion), Kiska (through Geoinformatics), Mineral Resources Tasmania, Minotaur Resources, Norilsk Nickel (through both LionOre and Mining Project Investors), Northern Territory Geological Survey, Pima Mining (Magnesium International), Perilya (also through Ranger Minerals), Sipa Resources, SRK Consulting, Straits Resources, Thundelarra, Titan Resources, Troy Resources, US Geological Survey

Project P554A Data Metallogenica

Project P554A commenced in December 2002 and ran for two years. Its primary goal was to add significant additional depth and breadth to deposit information accompanying the sample sets, while still further expanding the physical collection.

Much of this new information was unique, being contributed by companies and individuals. It included hundreds of data galleries of plan and map data and annotated field and petrographic photogalleries, as well as over 600 bibliographies and deposit descriptions. Samples from important missing deposits were added through collection and donation, particularly from Europe and Australia. All new plate-sets were photographed and over 3,500 further selected individual samples from new and historical holdings were imaged at highest resolution.

Sponsors of AMIRA International Project P554A (2002-2004) – total A$476,500

Gold (A$10,000 per annum for 2 years)

Barrick (also sponsored by Placer Dome), BHP Billiton (also sponsored by WMC), Cameco, Codelco, Freeport McMoran (through Phelps Dodge), Newcrest (also through Lihir and Equigold), Newmont, Rio Tinto, Teck (through Teck Cominco), Vale (as CVRD), Xstrata (also through Jubilee Mines).

Silver (A$3,000 per annum for 2 years)

Alberta Geological Survey, Alcoa, British Columbia Geological Survey, CBH Resources (through Consolidated Broken Hill and Triako), Cliffs (through Portman), Consolidated Minerals, CSIRO Exploration & Mining, De Beers, Department of Primary Industries Victoria (GeoScience Victoria), DMITRE (South Australian Department of Manufacturing Innovation Trade Resources & Energy, originally as Primary Industries & Resources South Australia), Eldorado (through Sino Gold), Geological Survey of Canada, Geological Survey of Queensland, Geoscience Australia, Grupo Mexico (though Asarco), Independence Group (also through Jabiru Metals), Ivanhoe Mines, Kimberley Diamonds, Kingsgate, Kiska (through Geoinformatics), Norilsk Nickel (through LionOre), MMG (through Oxiana), New South Wales Department of Trade & Investment (Geological Survey of New South Wales), Resolute Mining, Saskatchewan Industry & Resources, Sipa Resources, Straits Resources, Terra Search, US Geological Survey

Bronze (in-kind services to the value of a Silver Sponsor in P554, P554A or later)

Bureau Veritas (through AMDEL), AusSpec, De Re Metallica, Flinders Diamonds, GeoReference Online, Intierra, Orogenic Exploration, Pontifex & Associates, Porter GeoConsultancy, Kingston Morrison (now Sinclair Knight Merz), Tim Hopwood, University of Adelaide

Project P1040 Building the Global Encyclopaedia of Ore Deposits

As a result, a new special AMIRA project P1040 (Building the Global Encyclopaedia of Ore Deposits) was established to solve these issues and to accelerate data addition to DM. Sufficient funding from over 50 sponsors was obtained to allow this project to start in June 2012.

Early focus has been on development of a new website. This will allow much easier addition of new files by others as well as other advantages such as improved “searchability”. Photographs of samples from additional deposits from North Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, South America and elsewhere are also now available. The new website is available in essentially any language (eg all European and Scandinavian languages, Swahili, Russian, Arabic, Chinese etc) so will be of significant assistance in global reference and education.

Support to students as the next generation of economic geoscientists in industry and academia has also been made available in various ways, together with technical support being provided where necessary to the industry’s “elder statesmen” so their contributions can be preserved in DM.

The ultimate aim in this project is for DM to become a “wiki” and allow others to add and preserve their technical data from deposits around the world. Future plans for Data Metallogenica are for an ever widening range of linked industry website information sources, including the fields of mining, mineral processing and environment.

AMIRA International Project P1040 (2012-2015) – total A$1,116,840

Platinum (A$35,000 per annum for 3 years)

Xstrata Copper

Gold (A$25,000 per annum for 3 years)

Anglo American, AngloGold, Barrick, Buenaventura, Gold Fields, Newcrest, Newmont, Randgold, Rio Tinto, Vale, Votorantim

Silver (A$7,500 per annum for 3 years)

Boliden, Centerra Gold, ENRC, Evolution, Kingsgate, Lundin, Mincor, New Gold, Perilya, Sandfire, Saracen, Silver Lake Resources (through Integra), SRK, St Barbara

Bronze (A$2,000 per annum for 3 years)

Alkane, Altan Rio, Australian Mining Consultants, British Columbia Geological Survey, Coffey Mining, CSIRO, DMITRE (South Australian Department of Manufacturing Innovation Trade Resources & Energy), Department of Primary Industries Victoria, Drake, Encounter, Energia, Geological Survey of Canada, Geological Survey of Western Australia, Geoscience Australia, Indophil, Intrepid, ioGlobal, Ivanhoe, Mawson, New South Wales Department of Trade & Investment (Geological Survey of New South Wales), Saskatchewan Geological Survey, SolGold, Stratex, Tasman, Terra Search, Tigers Realm, US Geological Survey

All of the above Foundation Sponsors (or their successors) can access DM via annual subscription at a significantly lower rate than non-sponsors (note: all P1040 sponsors have free access until the end of the project on June 30, 2015). Individual members of the Foundation Professional Societies can also access DM at half the normal annual rate of subscription ($100 per annum).