The Department of Minerals and Energy today launched a comprehensive digital data list of all Western Australian mines and mineral deposits and their geographical co-ordinates.
Mines Minister Kevin Minson said today he expected the package to become a best seller within the mining industry.
"I believe it will become an indispensable item in the search for new prospects in WA," he said.
"Apart from being keenly anticipated for its highly valuable information, the package is a breakthrough in terms of portability and cost."
For just $50, the department's most recent information on mineral resources and locations is provided in a published report.
Mr Minson said Record 1996/13 was produced by the department's Geological Survey Division in response to increasing demand for digital information on mines and mineral deposits in the State.
"The information is extracted from the DME's MINEDEX computer database, which was designed to provide rapid access to a variety of information of current and potential mining operations," he said.
"It accurately plots mineral deposits in WA from the largest iron ore mine to the smallest rock quarry."
The disk accompanying the record provides current, readily accessible mineral resources information and various other associated data, including geographical co-ordinates, deposit or mine type and commercial ownership of projects.
It includes more than 5,000 individual sites and almost 8,000 resources.
The data will be of value in project generation, evaluation of mineral potential, strategic planning, and in map production by geoscientists, mineral exploration companies, Government agencies and academic institutions.
"Such a data package has never before been publicly available from the department as one unit in a digital format," Mr Minson said.
The data will also be of use in `modelling' - a technique which involves overlaying a variety of data to build up a geological profile that forms the basis for regional project generation in the search for new mineral deposits.
The data can be used by companies to find out who owns certain prospects.
The data comes in two formats - as text files that can be imported into many software applications and as a MS ACCESS 2 database.
Also included is a text file containing all the tabulated data in the three appendices of this record.
The data will be updated periodically.
The department also plans to make MINEDEX available through the Internet - address http://www.dme.wa.gov.au - similar to other departmental systems such as TENDEX and WAMEX.
Access to the complete MINEDEX system is available through terminals at the department's head office and regional offices.
Copies of Record 1996/13 with data disk are available through the Mining Information Centre, First Floor, Mineral House, 100 Plain Street, East Perth.
Media contacts: Caroline Lacy 222 9211 or 015 083 526
Lynley Jenkins, Department of Minerals and Energy, 222 3527.