Improving on existing products and systems to improve output, efficiency and effectiveness is at the core of innovation. It’s about working smarter not harder. So the old adage of “don’t fix what ain’t broke” doesn’t really apply to the mining and minerals industries. These industries rely heavily on continuous innovation to drive growth. 

Because core trays play a crucial role in mining and exploration activities, we at Dynamics G-Ex have spent years researching, designing and stress-testing plastic core trays (also known as core boxes or core storage).

As we are also the business behind one of the most sophisticated plastic core trays on the market - the patented Discoverer Core Sample Trays we are in a position to provide commentary on the topic.

Given our heavy investment in core tray research and development, here are the 5 main reasons plastic core trays outperform metal core trays:

1. Convenience

Discoverer® plastic core trays:  

  • have ergonomically designed built-in handles      so that they are easier to pick up and handle
  • coloured coded for easy recognition and are      also available in black for HyLogging
  • bold start indicator gives clarity to drillers
  • designed to stack well on pallets and aren’t      noisy like metal core trays
  • effective drainage holes ensuring that core      samples are not damaged or contaminated
  • can be easily labeled with a permanent marker      or paint pen OR scribe onto an optional aluminium tag and put it into the ID      tag holder

2. Productivity

Metal core trays are hard to pick up, especially when hot! Are difficult to handle and when damaged need to be replaced which means a loss in productivity. Improved plastic core tray designs means that they are easier to use and stack easily for storage and transportation saving time and resources - thereby enhancing productivity.Discoverer® Series 2 can even nest effectively halving transport costs when the tray is empty. 

3. Longevity

Metal core trays have a tendency to rust and have a shorter life span as a result. Discoverer® plastic core trays are made of premium UV stabilised polypropylene, a type of thermoplastic polymer resin that can be found in many goods such as loudspeakers, automotive components and carpets. This chemical compound is not only highly resistant to organic chemicals (to minimise risk of a chemical reaction with core samples) and is non-magnetic (so as not to interfere with core analysis) but will not corrode like metal core trays. This type of plastic is so durable the original Discoverer® plastic core trays that were delivered to Mt Isa QLD in 1993 are still in use today, more than 20 years later. 

4. Cost-effectiveness

The components of metal core trays are normally higher in costs which make them more expensive to manufacture. These costs are subsequently passed down to the customer. In comparison, plastic core trays are cheaper to produce and so are cheaper than metal core trays. And as they are also more durable, plastic core trays represent good value.

5. Safety

Metal core trays have sharp edges making it difficult to pick up without inflicting cuts to hands. Sharp corners can also catch on clothing. When left out in the sun for great lengths of time, metal core trays can also become hot to touch and burn the skin, making it difficult to pick up and handle without the use of safety gloves. Plastic core trays eliminate these safety issues because they have rounded edges and are cool to touch even when left for long periods of time in the hot sun. Because there is less risk of injuries and other OHS issues, plastic core trays are a much safer option.


Core trays are fundamental to the mining and exploration industries - without them, geologists would have a difficult time analysing cores and reporting accurate results. However we also firmly believe that some core trays are superior to others. This is why we developed high performance plastic core trays. They overcome productivity and endurance problems and ensure the safety of not just the core, but all workers too.

If you’d like further information about our broad range of plastic core trays, please contact our team on 1800 105 584, Gympie +61 7 5482 6649, Perth +61 8 9302 5700.