Data Metallogenica

“Rocks library” and more. This has been my Magnum Opus and “rocks solid” backbone of my life-time engagement with the practical side of ore distribution (close to the French “gitologie”). It came to me gradually. I started as collector of minerals in my early days and, as student, collected formatized rock samples for assembly of school teaching sets (over 40,000 in the 1960s). It became my part-time work that paid for my university studies and trips. With one-year experience in the National Museum Mineralogy, then at universities, exploration in the field for the industry, led to development of lithotheque (“rock library”, a system of collecting, handling and processing of miniaturized sets of rock and ore samples from thousands of mines and ore occurrences). My collection of lithotheqes from international deposits started and maintained at the University of Manitoba grew in numbers and complexity, evolving into information system Data Metallogenica (DM) that also included parallel collection of macrosamples, folders with field notes, photos and some videos, and literature cuttings. All this found way to my books, reports and lectures (read earlier pages).

Portable lithotheque set, part of my Tasmania Reconnaissance report for Western Mining, RIGHT: similar “lithoreport” for the Gawler Craton, South Australia, sponsored by the S.A. Geological Survey.

Data Metallogenica physical collection in Adelaide (since 1999). Amira International (thanks mainly to the efforts of Alan Goode) agreed to raise money through industry contributions to relocate DM from Canada to Australia and have it installed at the Australian Mineral Foundation (AMF) premises in Adelaide. There DM served the visiting sponsors until the AMF demise at the end of 2001. The AMF offices were taken over by Maptek and they kicked out the DM centre in 2005. DM was placed into shipping containers and left in the open for 7 years, finally liberated by the SA Geological Survey and relocated into a small room in the newly constructed building in Tonsley (Adelaide´s southern suburb) where it still is. The last blow to DM came in 2017 when Amira retired Alan Goode, still selling electronic access to subscribers out of its Melbourne headquarters (try DM stopped growing (is “in abeyance”), no new lithotheques are being added, some new material scavenged from thesis and report donations has been added in English only. The days when I grew DM by new original lithotheque sets and information in 15 languages are now history, and a monument to the virtual “new times” lived online and enriching the management. The industry has come second best. KIGAM (Korea Geological Survey) obtained a small set of my DM duplicates they use in training courses of visiting geologists. And when Australia gets out of steam, China is always here to help. In the past 5 years I started cooperation with the China University of Geosciences (CUG) in Wuhan, with the aim to establish “Metallogenica Sinica” modelled after DM.

1, 2. Data Metallogenica at the University of Manitoba, 1997. 3. AMF building in Glenside, Adelaide. 4. DM showroom in Glenside, 2001. 5. Localities included in DM until 2001 (about 3,500); more deposits have been added from China, Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Russia since. Inset; Joe Cuccuza and Alan Goode, Amira executives.
Metallogenica Sinica´s new home at the China University of Geosciences, Wuhan.

In the meantime in Australia… DM physical collection can still be visited by making appointment with Georgina Gordon of the South Australian Geological Survey. Lithotheque sets could be visually examined, some non-destructively tested (e.g. by PIMA), visually compared, documentation perused. Website is accessible on subscription, although there is a substantial free preview of DM history and purpose and list of deposits included. Some 4,000 LT sets from some 80 countries are now displayed. I HAVE NO LONGER ROLE IN DM AND DERIVE NO FINANCIAL BENEFITS FROM IT, but would be happy to provide personal recollections about deposits I have visited, sampled for DM and described in my books.

Minas Ragra vanadium, Peru