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Dynamics G-Ex Learning Hub

The Fastest Growing Geological Q&A Library in the World. You Ask a Question, We’ll Answer it Honestly!

Best Plastic Core Tray Review, Cost & Comparison. Discoverer, Impala, CoreSafe


However much a Plastic Core Tray Manufacturer thinks their core tray is 'the best', it still doesn't answer your question;

'What is the best Plastic Core Tray for me?'

At a Glance

  1. Plastic Core Tray Options

  2. Impala Core Trays

  3. CoreSafe Core Trays

  4. Discoverer® Core Trays

  5. Lifetime Warranty, Returns & Recycled Product

  6. Discoverer® Core Trays Cost Price Range

  7. The Decision is now yours


You can't pull the wool over too many Geologists or Fieldies eyes, so don't try! 

You've heard of most brands but we are often asked;

How does one compare to another?

What's the Pros & Cons?

Do you want the peace of mind by using a product with a Lifetime Warranty...

...or are you happy with a Budget Basic Tray?

Hopefully, we can demystify this for you, because we believe each consumer has the right to choose.

You should never blindly use the tray we force you to.

Plastic Core Tray Options

In no particular order, the leading brands on the market today are;

  • Impala Core Trays
  • CoreSafe Core Trays
  • Discoverer® Core Trays

1-2% of the Australian market are still using metal core trays, so we aren't going to discuss them here. There is also a Sandvik Plastic Core Tray but very few are sold on the Australian market.

1. Impala Core Trays

The original Impala 1 Tray was launched in 1994. Since then, over the years, Impala have introduced 2, 3 & 4.

All trays are manufactured in Perth and exclusively distributed through Westernex Supply.

These have traditionally been the strongest competitor to Discoverer® Core Trays.

Impala 1 Plastic Core Trays

Impala 1 Tray


The original Impala 1 is mainly used for export, as it stacks inside one another, like an 'egg carton'.

It's the simplest  design & cheapest tray of the Impala range.


Impala 2 Plastic Core Trays

Impala 2 tray


The Impala 2 was the next iteration and essentially is an upgrade on the Impala 1, built more robustly.

Impala 3 & Impala 4 Plastic Core Trays

Impala 3 and 4 Core Trays


In more recent years, Impala 3 and Impala 4 Trays were released.

These met the market demands for a plastic core tray that would work on Roller Racking in Core Sheds.

The main differences between the 3 and 4 is that the Impala 4 Core Tray is slightly shorter and holds 920mm worth of core in each channel, so 8% less core capacity.

Also the 3 comes in NQ2, HQ & PQ, and the 4 comes in NQ2 & HQ only.

Overall, Impala is the cheapest Core Tray on the market today, it's only manufactured from a Virgin Polymer and is ideal for the budget conscious buyer that can't afford a lot more.

Impala Core Trays Cost Price Range:

High $12 to $14 range dependent on volumes/size.


2. CoreSafe Core Trays

The CoreSafe Trays are the most recent addition to the market.

They offer 2 types of tray;

  • CoreSafe Ultimate Core Trays
  • CoreSafe SlimLine Core Trays

CoreSafe Core Trays


The Ultimate Trays are manufactured in Brisbane, and the SlimLine are manufactured overseas. The brand is owned by Prospectors Supplies, Sydney.

These have a 920mm Core capacity per channel, so shorter than the typical 1m logging length.

This is a 8% reduction on core capacity meaning purchasing 8% more trays.

Example: 10,000m HQ drill program will use 2500 of the industry standard 1m capacity trays.

You'll require 2717 CoreSafe Trays.

You'll then have to purchase, handle, store and log 217 extra trays, per drill program, every year.

Case Study: Large mines that are logging 4000m/week will be purchasing, handling, logging & storing 87 extra trays/week, 4524 extra trays/year. Do your own sums, or consider sticking with the industry standard length trays.

The main difference between the Ultimate & SlimLine is SlimLine is narrower overall due to thin channel dividers.


Slimline Trays


So if making notes on the dividers between the channels is important to you, consider the Ultimate. 

We've found the CoreSafe tray to typically be one of the highest priced trays on the market, without factoring in the 8% additional trays situation, but consumers report these are a quality product.

CoreSafe Core Trays Cost Price Range:

$15 to $17 range, ex-works Brisbane.


3. Discoverer® Core Trays

Discoverer® was the pioneer of the Plastic Core Tray, launched in 1993, acquired by Dynamics in Feb 2015.

It's manufactured on both the East and West coasts of Australia, due to the increasing popularity & volumes sold across the country.

It's also stocked locally through Dynamics warehouse network of Perth, Mt Isa, Kalgoorlie, Dubbo, Adelaide, Gympie & Melbourne.

Discoverer® Series 1

PQ Series 1-Gray


The Discoverer® Series 1 is most similar to the Impala 2 Core Tray.

A basic, robust tray with a simplistic design.

Discoverer® Series 2

Discoverer® Series 2 Gray NQ Series 2 Export-Gray


Discoverer® Series 2 is designed for the Export market.

One tray nests inside each the next, fitting 100% more into a container and reducing your landed cost price.

Discoverer® Series 3 & 4

Series 4 - Gray


The latest additions to the range are:

Discoverer® Series 3   Discoverer® Series 4

Both of these products are designed specifically with a flat bottom to roll smoothly on Roller Racking, and a 360° Gripbar around the entire perimeter.

Discoverer® Series 3

Many were asking for a Tray that stacked with fragmented and protrusive core. Series 3 is the only Core Tray on the market that allows that clearance.

Section showing core clearance

The rest of the Discoverer, Impala & CoreSafe ranges are designed so that when the core is very competent it sit's virtually flush with the top of the core tray, with no allowance for protrusion. If you've got broken, fragmented core, this could be the tray for you.

Discoverer® Series 4

Forward looking, the Series 4 is for those that are serious about their Core Tray photography.

Using smart technology, this tray incorporates a stencil, known as  TruIdentiti™ (see image), in which you write the Tray #, From & To Depth, eliminating any previous issues with poor handwriting.


This tray is sold as a bundle package with the Imago Software.

As the Tray is photographed, Imago identifies the stenciled information and automatically assigns it to the photograph and the corresponding database.

Imago then uses AI technology to crop, and post process the image into downhole view, saving hours of time and money.

Also most Geo's seem to be sick of faded core tray markings or missing ID labels.

With the revolutionary embedded RFID tags hidden inside the plastic moulding. You will never have to worry again about your core tray markings or ID labels going missing.

The RFID tag ensures the important tray info is indelibly attached to the tray in question. The Imago software handles this database too.

This ensures the tray can be identified in downstream processes such as during logging, sampling or core tray inventory management

Click here to see more on the TruIdentiti™ & RFID solution.

Lifetime Warranty, Returns & Recycled Product

The final wrap on Discoverer is that they are the only tray made from an environmentally friendly recycled polymer.

A strict QC manufacture process is backed up by a Lifetime Warranty and Lifetime Returns Policy.

It's Zero Risk for you.

Discoverer® will happily take back your unused products, no time limits.

How many times have we heard that you've run out of product because your drill program got extended last minute?

Now it's easy, order as much as you like, keep your drill program going, no sweat, and return the unused products when your done.

Impala Trays Surplus to Requirement


No more ads like the above.

Who looks like they are in control onsite now?

Power to you.

Discoverer® Core Trays Cost Price Range:

Discoverer® is stocked at locations around Australia. This gives you a local stock choice in the following regions:

Metro Stock Hubs - Perth, Gympie, Melbourne
Pricing Starts at $14.89 to $20.68

Regional Stock Hubs - Kalgoorlie, Mt Isa, Adelaide, Dubbo
Pricing Starts at $16.09 to $24.14

The variation is dependent on the size of the core tray, and cost of shipping to the regional warehouse.

E.g. NQ2 Trays are the most cost effective & PQ are the most expensive.

Smaller size = more per pallet = lower landed cost
Larger size = less per pallet = higher landed cost

You are more than welcome to purchase trays from your warehouse of choice.

E.g. If you are a Kalgoorlie Mine and have existing trucks travelling from Perth to Kalgoorlie, then you can qualify for Perth pricing.

If you have run out of stock and do have to pick-up from Kalgoorlie, the Kalgoorlie price will apply due to the freight cost already factored into the landed cost in Kalgoorlie.

The Decision is now yours

We trust this provides an comprehensive brand review & comparison on the 3 leading Core Trays on the Australian & Global market.

We'll never shy away from answering a question honestly for you. We believe competition is healthy for innovation and you should always have choice to make the decision on What's the right Core Tray for me? 

As long as you get a product you're happy with, we are happy.

Have any more questions or comments about Plastic Core Trays? Leave them for us in the box below and we will answer them as soon as possible!



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ProFab™ Superior Pre-Numbered Calico 200x300mm (8’x12”), 1000/CTN

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