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Baryte, Australia

Posted by Rock Currier  
avatar Baryte, Australia
May 08, 2009 12:25PM
©


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Can you help make this a better article? What good localities have we missed? Can you supply pictures of better specimens than those we show here? Can you give us more and better information about the specimens from these localities? Can you supply better geological or historical information on these localities?


Baryte
BaSO4 Orthorhombic

Rosebery Mine, Rosebery, Rosebery district, Tasmania, Australia. Xls to 1cm© R. Bottrill


Here will go a good picture of a Baryte from Australia and general remarks about the Baryte from this country. Here are some url's to some of the better Australian Baryte specimens here on Mindat that can be considered for inclusion in the article. These, in most cases are just for temporary use until we can get images of the much better specimens that are almost certainly out there. We should also consider that there are probably localities out there with fine specimens that are not even mentioned on Mindat. Also in some instances there are sometimes pictures on Mindat, of specimens from a locality, but they were so ratty that I did not include them here, but there may also be really good specimens from there that we should talk about in this article.

Australia
New South Wales, Prospect Hill, Prospect Quarry.

This basalt quarry is better know for its fine prehnite specimens than its barite. But “Barite was the last of the minerals to crystallize in the vugs. It is very rare and specimens are found very occasionally. It has been observed as tabular white crystals in parallel groups to 1 cm across on drusy siderite (Australian Museum specimen D35330), rosettes of pale brown, transparent, tabular crystals to 4 mm across on white calcite Australian Museum specimen D38535) and similar rosettes on drusy marcasite (George Dale collection) from the sheared gabbroic dolerite exposed between the Widemere and Prospect quarries.”1
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 25, 1994, p 188.

Australia
Broken Hill, Yancowinna Co., New South Wales, Australia


Barite 16cm wide© Greg Murray


Barite is rare in this deposit, but can occur in attractive yellow crystals in the late carbonate veins, usually on a white to pink manganoan calcite.


Australia
Queensland, Mt Isa - Cloncurry area, Mount Isa district, Hilton deposits, Handlebar Hill Open Cut

`1.5cm Barite xl on matrix© Ryan Eagle



Australia
Queensland, Mt Isa - Cloncurry area, Mount Isa district, Mount Isa mines, Black Rock Open Cut

Barite 3cm wide© Mark Rheinberger


Nice golden barites were found in the 1980s. We need more photos
Queensland, Mount Isa. “Barite is one of the more spectacular minerals occurring at Mount Isa. The best specimens come from the copper orebodies. Beautiful, golden brown, flattened tabular to prismatic crystals to 4 cm occur associated with native copper (often altered to malachite) within a honeycomb siliceous sinter. The sinter was found in large masses on 4 level within the Black Rock open cut. The barite is clouded by native copper inclusions. Plates exceeding 30 cm were found but few have survived. Some large, golden brown, prismatic crystals to 10 cm with copper, chalcopyrite and pyrite inclusions were also found. Occasional yellow-brown, blocky prismatic to tabular crystals up to 10 cm in length, some doubly terminated, have emerged from various fault zones within the copper orebodies. Some attractive barite clusters have been found in sepiolite and palygorskite fault fill from within the silver-lead-zinc orebodies. A notable occurrence was on 16D sublevel where yellow clusters to 3 cm across were found enclosed within sepiolite. The clusters are composed of thick, bladed crystals up to 1 cm long, forming as elongated rosettes. The miners use high-pressure hoses to blast the sepiolite and palygorskite in such faults. The result is that literally rains barite crystals.”1
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 19, 1988, p.478.

Australia
South Australia, Andamooka Ranges - Lake Torrens area, Roxby Downs, Olympic Dam Mine

crystals to 4.5 cm© Bill Dameron
largest crystal is 25cm long© M. Willoughby 07


4x5 cm© Bill Dameron

Some well formed and very large barites have been found in this copper-gold-uranium mine, but sadly they are very rarely seen in the marketplace or museums.

"I worked as a geologist at Olympic Dam a couple of years after the butterscotch barites were found. They came from a couple of areas of the mine, the gold-rich A- and B-blocks. Some of the vughs were big, walk-in size but they represented structural integrity problems for mine development so they were filled in with concrete. Luckily some of the specimens you see were recovered before they were filled. These were available at minerals shows around 1988-89. I collected a few similar crystals from remaining pillars in B-block in 1994, together with crystallised anhydrite and fluorite. Many of the fine specimens that are now preserved in the SA Museum owe their preservation to one grade controller, Maurice Brown, who amassed a good sized collection, was allowed to keep it by the mine management and then donated it to the museum. A gentle giant and a true gentleman who enjoyed showing me his finds." Ben Grguric

Australia
South Australia, Flinders Ranges

Barite xl cluster 5cm wide© Greg Murray

Barite is common in veins in many parts of the Flinders and Mt Lofty Ranges, and some are large enough for mining. There have been some good crystals found in some of these veins, especially from the ## mine.


Australia
South Australia, Flinders Ranges, South Flinders Ranges, Bunkers Range, Oraparinna homestead, Oraparinna Mine (Oraparinna Barytes Mine),

5x2 cm© Bill Dameron

12cm©

8x4.5 cm© Bill Dameron


“Parallel groups of golden blocky xls to 2 cm. gemmy tips. 2.5 cm. somewhat scarce.”1
1. Bill Dameron, personal communication, 2003, description of specimens in his collection.


Australia
South Australia, Mt Lofty Ranges, Burra Burra Mine.

5mm Baryite xl in vug on Malachite© M. Willoughby 08


“Sharp, lustrous crystals of barite up to 2 cm with azurite, malachite and libethenite on chrysocolla on quartzite matrix were found. The crystals, of a bladed to tabular habit, are transparent and range from colorless to pale yellow. Barite was also found as fawn-brown nodules to 7 cm across, the centers of which are buggy and lined with minute colorless barite crystals and occasional hemispheres of malachite.”1
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 25, 1994, p.127.


Australia
Tasmania, Rosebery district, Rosebery, Rosebery Mine

Barite xl cluster 9x5.5 cm© Bill Dameron

Barite xl cluster 85x80x40 mm©

This min has arguably produced Australias best barites. The ore is rich in massive barite, but the best specimens are found in late fractures, as pale yellow to honey-brown crystals to several cm long. They were abundant in the 1970's but are becoming rare now.
“Nice specimens of transparent yellow barite came from the Rosebery mine in the 1970’s. The crystals are up to 2 cm long on plates up to 20 cm across.”1
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 19, 1988, p.385.


Australia
Tasmania, Queenstown district, Madame Howard barite mine

Barite 2.5cm wide© R Bottrill


This deposit was mined for barite, in some large veins. There were common vughs which produced some sizable crystals, usually white to colourless, to several cm across. The site is badly overgrown and not much has been found there for a long while.


Australia
Tasmania, Queenstown, Prince Lyell Mine

Baryte xls to 1.5cm on matrix© R. Bottrill, 2007


Some excellent small crystals have been found in this mine in the last couple decades. They are usually sparse rhombic crystals, white to colouless, with quartz, calcite, dolomite and siderite, and the combinations can be attractive.


Australia
Tasmania, Tyndall Valley, Henty Mine

Baryte FOV 4cm© R. Bottrill 2006


Some very nice bladed baryte crystals to at least 5cm have been found in this mine, which sadly has banned all collecting. They usually occur on drusy quartz and dolomite, commonly with chalcopyrite.


Australia
Tasmania, Bridgewater, Boral Quarry

[www.mindat.org]
FOV about 4cm© R Bottrill 2006
Good photo needed.
This is an unusal occurrence, of baryte in basalt vesicles, similar to the Bundoora, Victoria occurrence.


Australia
Victoria, Bundoora, Boral Limited quarry

Barite & Calcite FOV 6mm© Judy Rowe


Small barites occur in some vesicles in the Tertiary basalts of Victoria, and the Bundoora Quarry is one of the best sites. They are usually only micros to miniatures, but can be attractive.
Victoria, Phillip Island, Red Cliff Head. “Snow-white aggregates of platy barite crystals up to 7 mm across form attractive combinations with orange chabazite at Red Cliff Head on Phillip Island. Similar crystals have also been observed with ferrierite, calcite or chalcedony at Red Bluff and several other localities.”1 These barites are found in amygdaloidal pockets in Tertiary age basalts. A good article about the zeolites and associated minerals from Red Cliff Head, Philip Island and Flinders is sited below.
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 19, 1988, p.457.



Click here to view Barite and here to view Best Minerals B and here for Best Minerals A to Z and here for Fast Navigation of completed Best Minerals articles.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.



Edited 21 time(s). Last edit at 04/25/2014 02:44AM by Ralph Bottrill.
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
May 09, 2009 08:19AM
Rock
I have made a few additions to this article, and will try to do some more soon. There should be lots better pictures about.
Ralph

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
May 09, 2009 09:39PM
There are probably better pictures about, but certainly many better specimens out there that have not been photographed. That is a problem, not just with Australia, but everywhere. We will just keep plugging away at it and little by little it will get better.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
May 22, 2009 06:36AM
    
Hi Ralph,

Costas asked me to forward this photo of Baryte from Mount Isa. I don't know the size but Costas would. If I can find a better copy I'll send it.

Mark.
Attachments:
open | download - baryte001.jpg (276.2 KB)
Re: Baryte, Australia
May 22, 2009 09:38AM
    
Thanks Mark,Ralph this piece is from the Black Rock Open Cut., Mount Isa Qld..It is 30mm wide and the largest crystal about12mm..I got it from Mark R.and is now in my collection..They were scarce in the open cut.The better ones came from 18th level and a few came from the copper areas from 4 and 5 levels.Some from here had copper wire inclusions.
Con
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
May 22, 2009 01:18PM
Thanks Con and Mark, I uploaded the new photo - its a beauty!

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
May 28, 2009 07:33AM
Ralph,
Here are some notes I made about Australian barytes that you will hopefully find useful in doing the article on Australian, Barites.

Australia
New South Wales, Prospect Hill, Prospect Quarry. This basalt quarry is better know for its fine prehnite specimens than its barite. But “Barite was the last of the minerals to crystallize in the vugs. It is very rare and specimens are found very occasionally. It has been observed as tabular white crystals in parallel groups to 1 cm across on drusy siderite (Australian Museum specimen D35330), rosettes of pale brown, transparent, tabular crystals to 4 mm across on white calcite Australian Museum specimen D38535) and similar rosettes on drusy marcasite (George Dale collection) from the sheared gabbroic dolerite exposed between the Widemere and Prospect quarries.”1
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 25, 1994, p 188.

Queensland, Mount Isa. “Barite is one of the more spectacular minerals occurring at Mount Isa. The best specimens come from the copper orebodies. Beautiful, golden brown, flattened tabular to prismatic crystals to 4 cm occur associated with native copper (often altered to malachite) within a honeycomb siliceous sinter. The sinter was found in large masses on 4 level within the Black Rock open cut. The barite is clouded by native copper inclusions. Plates exceeding 30 cm were found but few have survived. Some large, golden brown, prismatic crystals to 10 cm with copper, chalcopyrite and pyrite inclusions were also found. Occasional yellow-brown, blocky prismatic to tabular crystals up to 10 cm in length, some doubly terminated, have emerged from various fault zones within the copper orebodies. Some attractive barite clusters have been found in sepiolite and palygorskite fault fill from within the silver-lead-zinc orebodies. A notable occurrence was on 16D sublevel where yellow clusters to 3 cm across were found enclosed within sepiolite. The clusters are composed of thick, bladed crystals up to 1 cm long, forming as elongated rosettes. The miners use high-pressure hoses to blast the sepiolite and palygorskite in such faults. The result is that literally rains barite crystals.”1
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 19, 1988, p.478.

South Australia, Burra Burra Mine. “Sharp, lustrous crystals of barite up to 2 cm with azurite, malachite and libethenite on chrysocolla on quartzite matrix were found. The crystals, of a bladed to tabular habit, are transparent and range from colorless to pale yellow. Barite was also found as fawn-brown nodules to 7 cm across, the centers of which are buggy and lined with minute colorless barite crystals and occasional hemispheres of malachite.”1
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 25, 1994, p.127.

South Australia, Flinders Ranges, Oraparinna. “Parallel group of golden blocky xls to 2 cm. gemmy tips. 2.5 cm. somewhat scarce.”1
1 Bill Dameron, personal communication, 2003, description of specimens in his collection.

Tasmania, Rosenbery Mine. “Nice specimens of transparent yellow barite came from the Rosenbery mine in the 1970’s. The crystals are up to 2 cm long on plates up to 20 cm across.”1
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 19, 1988, p.385.

Victoria, Phillip Island, Red Cliff Head. “Snow-white aggregates of platy barite crystals up to 7 mm across form attractive combinations with orange chabazite at Red Cliff Head on Phillip Island. Similar crystals have also been observed with ferrierite, calcite or chalcedony at Red Bluff and several other localities.”1 These barites are found in amygdaloidal pockets in Tertiary age basalts. A good article about the zeolites and associated minerals from Red Cliff Head, Philip Island and Flinders is sited below.
1. Mineralogical Record, Vol. 19, 1988, p.457.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
June 01, 2009 01:00AM
Thanks Rock
i am gradually trying to incorporate this added data, and photos where I can find some.
Does anyone have one for Prospect, NSW?

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
April 04, 2010 05:06PM
    
Ralph --
I have lately begun working on almost all of the barite pages, after talking to (being talked at by?) Rock. I did a few "lesser" countries (baritewise) the past few days, as tests (Namibia, Ukraine) and am plugging away at Germany and the UK. I saw that somebody else has already done an excellent job with Belgium (I know absolutely nothing about barites from Belgium!). And Australia, another weak point for me. Hope you are still actively engaged in this Best of Species page. I am somewhat familiar with some of the barites from Australia but never see them in the US (I do have a few Australian dealers looking for me).
I received as a gift from an Australian friend (dealer, miner) a barite labeled (when he obtained it) as from Mt Isa. But it matches exactly barites from near Basin, Jefferson County, MT USA. And I mean exactly, so much so that I suspect it was mislabeled somewhere along the line. I asked all Australia-related folks I could find at Tucson this year, and none of them thought it was from Australia. I will send you a picture of it later today for your opinion. I haven't photographed it yet because of the uncertainty of the locality and am not sure I should upload it to Mindat. Maybe I'll wait and see if you are willing to provide an e-mail address so I could send the picture directly to you.

Here is a photo of my one Australian barite for consideration, from Oraparinna.

Barite, Oraparinna 5x2 cm© Bill Dameron


I also have on my barite reference website (Barite Specimen Localities, easy to find in Google, etc.) a picture "through the glass" at his Tucson display of Rob Sielecki's excellent Roxby Downs piece. Now if you could get a good photo of that, or one like it! I will upload that photo and send it via this channel also; somewhat clearer photo than the ones already on MinDat.

Bill Dameron
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
April 05, 2010 11:01AM
Hi Bill
we welcome your input and photos; I will help if I can.

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
April 05, 2010 10:43PM
    
Another contribution, Rob Sielecki's Roxby Downs barite exhibited at Tucson 2007. These are really nice barites. Bill

Baryte
Australia

Olympic Dam Mine, Roxby Downs, Andamooka Ranges - Lake Torrens area, South Australia

Rob Sielecki specimen; dark golden brown, barely translucent, thick tabular chisel crystals to 4.5 cm. These occur even larger. See UK Jolurnal of Mines and Minerals #17. Rob Sielecki had this specimen in his display at Tucson in 2007.

Barite, Roxby Downs, ~4.5 cm crystals© Bill Dameron

Bill Dameron
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
April 30, 2012 03:50PM
Howdy Ralph,

I know it's not the greatest shot, but this willl give an idea of how big the Olympic Dam Baryte's can get!

© M. Willoughby 07
© M. Willoughby 07
© M. Willoughby 07

Cheers Mark.

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



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/30/2012 03:59PM by Mark Willoughby.
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
May 06, 2012 03:14AM
Thanks Mark, these are amazing, it sad they are so rarely seen.
I added one to the article, plus a couple new ones, but more are needed still.

Regards,
Ralph



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/2012 04:45AM by Ralph Bottrill.
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
August 19, 2012 12:26AM
    
RALPH - I have my own "Roxby Downs" you may want to consider at; it photographed well.
© Bill Dameron

Bill Dameron
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
August 19, 2012 12:28AM
    
ralph -- plus another oraparinna
© Bill Dameron

Bill Dameron
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
August 19, 2012 06:55AM
Bill, excellent photos, many thanks, I have added them to the article

Regards,
Ralph
Re: Baryte, Australia
April 18, 2014 02:37PM
Here is a superb barite from Australia 12 cm

avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
April 18, 2014 08:34PM
Yes, it is a fine specimen of baryte and I would like to use it in the Best Minerals article but can't unless you tell us the locality, size etc and upload it to our general database.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
April 19, 2014 01:30AM
Oraparinna?

Regards,
Ralph
Re: Baryte, Australia
April 19, 2014 12:40PM
I worked as a geologist at Olympic Dam a couple of years after the butterscotch barites were found. They came from a couple of areas of the mine, the gold-rich A- and B-blocks. Some of the vughs were big, walk-in size but they represented structural integrity problems for mine development so they were filled in with concrete. Luckily some of the specimens you see were recovered before they were filled. These were available at minerals shows around 1988-89. I collected a few similar crystals from remaining pillars in B-block in 1994, together with crystallised anhydrite and fluorite. Many of the fine specimens that are now preserved in the SA Museum owe their preservation to one grade controller, Maurice Brown, who amassed a good sized collection, was allowed to keep it by the mine management and then donated it to the museum. A gentle giant and a true gentleman who enjoyed showing me his finds.
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