Lithotheque plate showing samples from the oxidation zone; Escondida, Chile

“The best geologist is he/she who has seen most rocks (and ores)”; H.H. Read said it. Despite the invasion of virtual technology, exploration and study of ore deposits still starts with visual images of geological materials. Descriptions, even photos, in the literature are poor substitutes of reality. Data Metallogenica is a new form of information system about ores, where every deposit is represented by a set of miniaturised rock and ore samples permanently attached, in fixed order, to page-size aluminium plates, called LITHOTHEQUE.

Cross-section of Escondida

DATA METALLOGENICA (DM) evolved from a collection of Lithotheques into an information system where every sample plate has explanation sheet describing the geological units (coded) and samples they include. A parallel collection of hand specimens, MACROTHEQUE, represents the many lithotectonic divisions, as presented in my book and poster “Geosites“. Each deposit in DM has a dedicated folder with literature reprints, field notes, photos, videos.

DM after move to Australia, in 2000. First “employees” Peter and Sarka Laznicka

DATA METALLOGENICA TODAY. Started as a family project of Peter and Sarka Laznicka in Australian bush, DM grew when Peter was professor at the University of Manitoba. In 1999 DM transferred to Australia and re-established itself as an industry-sponsored joint venture between Australian Mineral Foundation (AMF) and Amira International (AI). Located in AMF Annex in Glenside, DM rapidly advanced, popular with sponsors. AMF demise at the end of 2001 made AI the sole DM owner and in 2005 Maptek that bought the buildings, expelled DM; it spent 7 years packed in containers, until accommodated by the ever helpful South Australian Geological Survey. AI operates DM website http://www.dmgeode.com out of Melbourne; the full on-line access is by subscription, although there is a free preview. The DM physical collection in Tonsley, Adelaide suburb, can be visited by appointment with members of the South Australian Geological Survey (Georgina Gordon@sa.gov.au; David.Groom@sa.gov.au).