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Baryte, Australia

Posted by Rock Currier  
avatar Baryte, Australia
May 08, 2009 01:25PM
This article has been prepared for the Mindat Best Minerals project. The aim of this project is to present information on important localities and specimens for each mineral specie. As new finds are made and new knowledge is made available the individual articles will be revised to include this information. Readers are encouraged to contribute by posting a response in this thread. All revisions will be stored, thus ensuring traceability and availability of previously included information. A complete list of articles can be found in the list of finished Best Minerals articles. To cite this version: Bottrill, R., Currier R. (2014) Baryte, Australia. revision 1.3. Mindat Best Minerals Project, article "mesg-94-137219". Please be advised that the photos cannot be used without the consent of the copyright holder


Baryte, Australia

BaSO4

Orthorhombic



Rosebery Mine, Rosebery, Rosebery district, Tasmania, Australia. Xls to 1cm
Rosebery Mine, Rosebery, Rosebery district, Tasmania, Australia. Xls to 1cm
Rosebery Mine, Rosebery, Rosebery district, Tasmania, Australia. Xls to 1cm



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
Barite 16cm wide
Barite 16cm wide

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
`1.5cm Barite xl on matrix
`1.5cm Barite xl on matrix



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

Barite 3cm wide
Barite 3cm wide
Barite 3cm wide
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
largest crystal is 25cm long
crystals to 4.5 cm
largest crystal is 25cm long
crystals to 4.5 cm
largest crystal is 25cm long
4x5 cm
4x5 cm
4x5 cm

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
Barite xl cluster 5cm wide
Barite xl cluster 5cm wide

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
5x2 cm
5x2 cm
12cm
12cm
12cm
8x4.5 cm
8x4.5 cm
8x4.5 cm


“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
5mm Baryite xl in vug on Malachite
5mm Baryite xl in vug on Malachite

“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
Barite xl cluster 9x5.5 cm
Barite xl cluster 9x5.5 cm
Barite xl cluster 85x80x40 mm
Barite xl cluster 85x80x40 mm
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
Barite 2.5cm wide
Barite 2.5cm wide

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
Baryte xls to 1.5cm on matrix
Baryte xls to 1.5cm on matrix

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
Baryte FOV 4cm
Baryte FOV 4cm

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

FOV about 4cm
FOV about 4cm
FOV about 4cm

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
Barite & Calcite FOV 6mm
Barite & Calcite FOV 6mm

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.

RevisionHistory

Revision no date description editor
1.32014 Added photos Ralph Bottrill
1.22012 Added localities Ralph Bottrill
1.12010 Added photos Rock Currier
1.02009 First Draft Ralph Bottrill




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 26 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2015 08:20AM by Olav Revheim.
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
May 09, 2009 09:19AM
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 10:39PM
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 07:36AM
    
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 10:38AM
    
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 02:18PM
Thanks Con and Mark, I uploaded the new photo - its a beauty!

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
May 28, 2009 08:33AM
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 02:00AM
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 06:06PM
    
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



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 12:01PM
Hi Bill
we welcome your input and photos; I will help if I can.

Regards,
Ralph
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
April 05, 2010 11:43PM
    
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
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
April 30, 2012 04:50PM
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!



Cheers Mark.

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



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/30/2012 04:59PM by Mark Willoughby.
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
May 06, 2012 04:14AM
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 05:45AM by Ralph Bottrill.
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
August 19, 2012 01:26AM
    
RALPH - I have my own "Roxby Downs" you may want to consider at; it photographed well.

Bill Dameron
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
August 19, 2012 01:28AM
    
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
August 19, 2012 07:55AM
Bill, excellent photos, many thanks, I have added them to the article

Regards,
Ralph
Re: Baryte, Australia
April 18, 2014 03:37PM
Here is a superb barite from Australia 12 cm
Attachments:
open | download - image.jpg (896.3 KB)
avatar Re: Baryte, Australia
April 18, 2014 09:34PM
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 02:30AM
Oraparinna?

Regards,
Ralph
Re: Baryte, Australia
April 19, 2014 01:40PM
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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