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I purchased a thumbnail specimen of "niobian-ilmenorutile" attributed to:
"Wiperaminga Hill
East Quarry, Olany
Province, South
Australia, Australia"

My Mindat research gives the McMahon's Pegmatite (McMahon quarry) as the closest match to the label. There is a "West Quarry" with a different suite of minerals. My questions are:

Is the East Quarry the same locality as the McMahon's Pegmatite?

Is ilmenorutile known to be found in this pegmatite?

Here is a photo-


Steve Stuart
open | download - Columbie-tantalite 1b.JPG (66 KB)
I can't answer your question, Steve, but just couldn't resist commenting that all ilmenorutile has niobium, by definition (as I'm sure you knew, but the seller didn't) . So selling "niobian ilmenorutile" is a bit like selling "sweet honey" and "sour lemons" smiling smiley
The formula for ilmenorutile on Mindat also has tantalum. One idea I have is that the person who IDed the crystal did it with EDS and found dominant niobium. The seller was John Ebner at the 2012 Rochester Symposium. I'm not convinced that he was also the original collector.
I trimmed my specimen to fit a European-style micromount box by splitting off the base of the milky quartz on which the crystal sat, thus shortening the rock to fit. The fragments that split off contained these black minerals, perhaps of the same species. All my images are about 2 mm in length FOV.

open | download - Columbite-tantalite or ilmenorutile 2b.JPG (65.5 KB)
open | download - Columbite-tantalite or ilmenorutile 3b.JPG (50.9 KB)
Howdy Steve,

I did a little digging around and have found it is the same location; SARIG now has it listed in the database. Until now I had been unable to find it in the database and had to rely solely on historic Mines Summary Cards for information. I have updated the page to show all the names currently known. If I find any more I will add them as I find them.

*Follow-up* As yet I have not been able to confirm the ilmenorutile, however, I am awaitting a reply to the question and will post as soon as I find out.

Cheers Mark.

We will never have all the answers, only more questions!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2012 09:47AM by Mark Willoughby.

Ilmenorutile is relatively common in the various pegmatites scattered throughout the Curnamona province. I collected a 3cm crystal near the Ethiudna mine on Plumbago Station in 1992. Didn't properly characterise it until a couple of years ago. There are several localities listed in the Catalogue of SA Minerals and in the Campana and King 1950's bulletin on the Olary Province.



Have you by any chance collected any at this location? I was just talking to Don McColl and he cannot recall any at the quarry, only as you noted that it is common throughout the region.
We cannot add it to the database unless we can confirm it!


Are you able to have your specimens tested to confirm the species?

Cheers Mark.

We will never have all the answers, only more questions!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2012 02:32PM by Mark Willoughby.
Bookmarked the SARIG database and also found the East (McMahon) locality. Should the Mindat title be changed to include reference to the East quarry? I am hoping to get some EDS analysis in the next few weeks.

Hi Mark,

No haven't collected personally at Wiperaminga, so can't confirm the occurence there. We should add the additional known localites from Campana and King etc. Will look into it.


Howdy Ben,

I've already updated the name on the site; there is, however, a lot of work to still be done on the Olary Province area. I've been working mainly on the Fleurieu Peninsula and Flinders Ranges lately, so if you wish to help out, go for it! I'm the only person working on South Australian listings regularly. There is a couple of people adding here and there, but not on any regular basis, so help out all you want.
SARIG are now adding a lot of the Mines Summary Records to the database as well, you'll find they often have info that's not in the SARIG details or anywhere else.

Cheers Mark.

We will never have all the answers, only more questions!

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