LITHOTHEQUE is a rock ‘library’ containing approximately 3,400 sets of mini-samples permanently attached in groups of 20 to aluminium plates which are housed on slotted shelves. View an example plate from Olympic Dam here (image file ~125kb). Lithotheque sets are specific to a single deposit or area, each of which may be represented by more than one plate. Lithotheque plates are supported by a database containing deposit name, deposit alias, location (decimal degrees), district, country, world region, and deposit type. A listing of name, country and commodity fields is downloadable here (pdf file ~ 254kb). All plates in the collection have been digitally imaged and 6,000 individual samples (out of 60,000 in Lithotheque) also photographed close-up: this is an on-going process. Single samples are capable of being viewed at 15-times natural scale on-screen.

Lithotheque Legends: each Lithotheque plate is described by a one-page ‘legend'. The legend is divided into 4 parts:
1. Header
2. Plan or Section
3. Geological Key
4. Sample Descriptions
A printable example legend is available for download here (pdf file ~ 350kb).

Lithotheque Folders: each Lithotheque plate or group of plates is backed-up by a similarly numbered folder containing reprints, field notes, maps, photographs and other written data. The contents of these folders has not at this stage been indexed or captured digitally but an example listing from a typical folder can be found here.

Lithotheque Descriptive Summaries: these take a number of forms as shown below, depending on information and resources available. Click on the underlined text to view examples. A list of deposits in the subscriber on-line database can be downloaded here (pdf file ~ 128kb). Note: Adobe offer their free Acrobat Reader® software in both searchable and non-searchable versions: the searchable version is recommended for exploring this data file.

Lithotheque Legends: (see above) are 93% complete. A legend sheet is included with every new sample set added to the web. The process of revising and replacing older Legends is continuing.

Deposit Summaries: mainly by invited contributors, average 350 words in length and are available for approximately 150 significant deposits (Jan 2003).

Deposit Descriptions: average 1000 words in length and will continue to be developed for major deposits by invited contributors during project P554A. A small number are already available.

District Overviews: mainly by invited contributors, average 350 words in length and are available for approximately 20 significant districts (Jan 2003). These will be extended and enhanced during project P554A.

Exploration Case Histories where available will be included. A small number have been entered, averaging 3,000 words in length.

Lithotheque Non-destructive Measurement: 5,500 PIMA-II short wave-length infrared (SWIR) refelectance measurements have been made and interpreted to mineralogy for porphyry-epithermal deposits in DM and selected SEDEX, VMS and FeOx-Cu-Au settings.Tables of mineralogy and summaries of the spectral and mineralogical characteristics of selected deposits are already on the subscriber site (click here to view Pierina example). Stacked spectral profiles will be added progressively for important deposits (click here for Pierina example). The Lithotheque collection is recognised by many companies and institutions as an outstanding resource to develop libraries of measurement. Access for these purposes is non-exclusive but a copy of measurement data must be provided to DM subject to agreed witholding provisions.