Mineral Core Research Facility

alberta mineral core research facility
Mineral Core Research Facility

Mineral Core Samples

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

Read our PDFs to get detailed information on core holdings:

  • original co-ordinates
  • core orientation
  • core recovery
  • related publications

Core locations PDF Core Locations

Core details PDF Core Details & Publications

Use our core map to see origin and general information about the samples.

MCRF location. View larger map.


  • Access is by appointment only.
  • Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • To book, contact Rob Natyshen or Gordon Jean at 780.466.1779.


The Mineral Core Research Facility is in the Capital Industrial Park, 4504 Eleniak Road (63 Ave), Edmonton, Alberta.

Role and Mandate

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 or 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 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. Alberta Geological Survey 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 AGS.

Last modified: February 20, 2014