Is Our Mineral Heritage Heading for Extinction? The Need for a State Mineral Collection in the Northern Territory
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1994
This paper points to the timely importance of commencing a centrally recognised perpetual collection of mineral specimens in the Northern Territory which has as one of its objectives the collection and preservation of Northern Territory minerals of scientific, educational and heritage value. Currently in the Northern Territory there is no government department or institution that has a resourced coordinated state-wide objective to collect and document collectable mineral specimens. Specimens held in storage by the Department of Mines and Energy and the Museum and Art Galleries of the NT are not catalogued and owe their existence to fortuitous circumstances, not as a result of a planned systematic scientific approach to mineralogy. Northern Territory mineral species and unique specimens have and will continue to be driven to extinction while no central and active, recognised repository exists. This situation persists despite the fact mineral production is the Territory's largest income earner. The paper presents the arguments that hopefully will assist decision-makers to commence development of a state mineral collection lodged within an appropriate institution in the Northern Territory.