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Aurecon brings new South Australia Drill Core Reference Library to life

South Australian Drill Core Reference Library

South Australia Drill Core Reference Library

19 February 2016 - The AUD$32.2 million South Australia Drill Core Reference Library was officially opened by the Premier, the Hon. Jay Weatherill MP, in Adelaide on the 17th February 2016.  

The new library brings together the equivalent of 7.5 million metres of drill core material, which dates back to 1886. The library facilities are regarded by other national and international jurisdictions as the benchmark for quality services and information.

Julianne Cirson, General Manager Strategy & Governance, Resources and Energy Group, Department of State Development SA said, “this new facility is a showpiece of South Australian architectural design excellence, technical innovation, expert project management, and the highest levels of construction and engineering, and showcases our public sector at its best.”

Enabling major exploration investment in South Australia


Located at Tonsley Park, the library will house an extensive data bank of geoscience information, viewing rooms, education facilities, an industry workshop as well as the state’s fossil collection. One of the main goals of the library is to refine drilling search targets, seeing as drilling is one of the most costly activities that explorers undertake.

Aurecon was engaged by the Department for Planning, Transport, and Infrastructure of South Australia (DPTI), on behalf of the Department of State Development to undertake a full business case report justifying the strategic need for a new Drill Core Reference Library in South Australia. Steve Richards, Joint Project Director and Technical Director Advisory, Aurecon explained, “Aurecon’s overarching client brief was to prepare a full business case report that would provide options and recommendations for a strategic Drill Core Reference Library and research facilities that would contribute to major exploration investment”.

The business case prepared by Aurecon included depth assessment of the initiative, its relationship to government policy, demand analysis, options identification and assessment, as well as a financial, economic, environmental and social analysis of project options. Its findings provided major input into the preparation of the funding and investment submission to the South Australian Government.

This component was critical for the client, as Julianne explained, “Aurecon led the delivery of a high quality and compelling business case which was instrumental in securing funding from the South Australian Government to progress to the project.

“A key success in turning this project into a reality was the strategic advice and strong partnerships from the Aurecon team, including the architects, managing contractor and the Department of State Development,” added Julianne. Once preferred options were selected and refined, Aurecon was again commissioned by Department of State Development to assist with preparation of the cabinet submission.

Following cabinet approval of the investment funding, Aurecon was appointed to undertake the delivery of the capital works phase as the Lead Consultant. Aurecon provided full project management, design management and engineering design, and digital modelling services for the capital expenditure.

Niko Tsoukalas, Joint Project Director and Global Leader, Infrastructure Investments, Funders and Financiers, Aurecon explained, “Partnering with a client from business case through to design and construction enabled Aurecon to add value every step of the way. We were able to lead the client and show them how a truly sustainable supply chain investment can be achieved.”

The benefit of advisory experts and technical teams working alongside each other


Aurecon was uniquely placed to provide advisory, management and technical engineering services, with advisory experts and technical teams working seamlessly with one another to ensure that a project’s initial vision is achieved.

On large, complex project such as the South Australia Drill Core Reference Library there is often a transfer gap where accountability and knowledge gets lost if a client hires different consultancies to plan and execute various aspects of a project, such as procurement advisory, project delivery and regulatory compliance. By providing the full range of services along the investment supply chain, including advisory, project and procurement management, design management and engineering design services, Aurecon was able to close this gap.

Steve concluded, “This end to end service was critical to the success of the project.”

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