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Three Springs Talc Mine, Three Springs, Three Springs Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Open-cut talc mine located 12 kilometres north-east of Three Springs.

The second largest talc mine in the world, the annual production exceeds 240,000 tonnes.

Discovered in the 1940s, mining started in 1948. The mine was an underground operation owned by Universal Milling Company until 1959 when Western Mining Corporation bought a 50% share of the project and began open pit mining. In 2001 the mine was sold to Luzenac, and in 2011 to Imerys Talc.

Three Springs is a magnesium carbonate sub-horizontal orebody, trending north, with a maximum width of 200 metres, and thickness of a few metres to 30 metres. It produces some of the whitest and purest talc ores, although the talc varies in colour from white to dark green. This is governed by the amount of chlorite in the ore.

The talc occurs in the Noondine Chert, which is a member of the Coomberdale sub-group. The Noondine Chert is a silicified carbonate containing significant dolomite. The talc mineralisation extends 70 kilometres south from the Three Springs mine, containing a number of significant deposits. The talc is thought to have formed by hydrothermal fluids from dolerite dykes intruded into the carbonates.



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2 entries listed. 1 valid mineral.

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References

http://www.ferret.com.au/articles/6a/0c02e56a.asp

Fetherston, J.M., Stocklmayer, S., Stocklmayer, V.C.(2013): Gemstones of Western Australia- mineral resources bulletin 25, Geological Survey of Western Australia (2013): 273

Mineral and/or Locality  
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