Empty racks in the Geological Materials Storage Facility in Yellowknife, NWT. (Credit: NTGS)

Geological Materials Storage Facility

Geological Materials Storage Facility

Inside the NWT Geological Materials Storage Facility. (Credit: NTGS)


The Northwest Territories Geological Survey Geological Materials Storage Warehouse and viewing facility allows clients to access and study our core and rock collections. This 2.5 million dollar project saw the construction of a new 920 m2 cold storage warehouse, along with the partial renovation of an existing building to provide a heated examination area for the collection.

Contact Scott Cairns to use the facility or access the collection. 

The new facility is located near the Yellowknife airport.


The new facility is located in Yellowknife at 140 Bristol avenue, near the airport.

Tables in the viewing room will allow clients to layout, log and photograph over 150 metres of core at a time. (Credit: NTGS)


Cores collected by the government and stored in a core library preserve a record of a given mineral deposit. Typically these cores will be a single hole through a mineral deposit, chosen to represent the geology and structure of the deposit. These examples of a deposit are useful to illustrate the style of a mineral deposit to potential NWT explorers, or to provide samples for research purposes. Mineral exploration companies use the samples to help decide if any further exploration investment in the NWT is warranted.

The receiving area will allow multiple pallets of core to be retrieved from the cold storage area and warmed.  It will also provide a warm space to service and maintain the collection, as well as prepare samples for shipping or other activities. (Credit:


The heated collection viewing facility consists of an office and petrographic/microscope room, a large well-lit rock sample and core viewing area, and a sample receiving, sorting, and warm up area. Pallets of core or rock pails from the cold storage warehouse will be delivered by forklift to the receiving bay for warming (if necessary) and layout. Clients can view log, sample, or photograph the material in the core viewing area. Supplies and equipment for working with the core, and rock samples are available for client use.

Dawson Stone, a summer student, worked in the Geological Materials Storage Facility in Summer 2017. (Credit: NTGS)


Renovation work on the viewing area was completed Fall 2015. Work on the cold storage warehouse was completed in 2016. The core collection was moved into the cold storage facility in 2017 and the facility officially opened on September 18, 2017.

Organising core in the NWT Geological Materials Storage Facility. (Credit: NTGS)

Partners and Support

The project was managed by the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Public Works and Services. Clark Builders completed both renovation of the heated space, and the design build of the Warehouse.

Contact Scott Cairns to use the facility or access the collection. 

Moving core into the NWT Geological Materials Storage Facility in Summer 2017. (Credit: NTGS)


geological collections, core, rock samples, core logging, mineral exploration, client service, thin section, hand sample, petrography, photography