Mineral Core Research Facility

Mineral Core Research Facility

The Mineral Core Research Facility (MCRF) contains more than 60 500 metres of mineral core, 12 500 metres of coal core, and 17 000 rock samples on deposit from various mineral exploration projects in Alberta. The collection is publicly available to prospectors, mineral exploration companies, and academia for mineral exploration and research purposes.

Core Sample Information

Detailed information on core holdings can now be found on the NEW Alberta Interactive Minerals Map

  • Access is by appointment only.
  • Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • To book, contact MCRF office number 1-780-466-1779

The MCRF is in the Capital Industrial Park, 4504 Eleniak Road (63 Ave), Edmonton, Alberta.

Role and Mandate
The Alberta Geological Survey (AGS) assists Alberta Energy to administer the Metallic and Industrial Minerals Regulations of the Mines and Minerals Act for the Province of Alberta. Under these regulations, the Crown collects mineral core and rock samples from companies working on mineral permits, and it makes these materials publicly available to prospectors, mineral exploration companies, and academia for mineral exploration and research purposes.

Exploration companies send core materials to the MCRF. The core samples are catalogued, stored, and available for logging or sampling by the public, industry, and the scientific community.

Who Uses the Mineral Core and Rock Samples?   
Mineral exploration companies and prospectors account for about half of the users. Federal and provincial geologists account for another third of the users and are the primary users of the rock samples. Graduate students and university staff request access to both core and rock samples every year. Materials have even been shown on Canadian television programs.

History and Background
In 1979, the Alberta Energy and Natural Resources Department (now Alberta Energy) started a diamond drillcore selection and storage program. The submission of core drilled during exploration for metallic or industrial minerals is required by the Metallic and Industrial Mineral Regulations as part of the exploration approval process. The AGS was contracted to prepare a facility to store and manage the core and to select core and samples on behalf of the department. The original facility was called the MESS (Mineral Exploration Core and Sample Storage). In the early 1980s, a research component was added to the function, and the facility was renamed the Mineral Core Research Facility. In 1995, the activity became an integrated function of the Mineral Agreements Branch and the AGS.