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Western Australia, Australia

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Western Australia covers the western third of the Australian continent. It is sparsely populated, with 2.6 million people, 92% of which live in the far south-west corner of the state.

Most of the state is desert apart from the Kimberley region in the far north, and the far south west area. Due to the lack of tectonic activity over an extended period, the land has been eroded so that now the highest point is only 1245 metres Mt Meharry in the Pilbara. For the same reason the soils are poor, although it has led to an increased adaptability of flora, making especially the southern parts of the state a biological hotspot.

Western Australia has been occupied by aborigines for 40 000 years. Dreamtime stories explain how various landforms came to exist, and was an essential aspect for their world view. Apart from ochre, aborigines took little interest in rocks unless it was important for their day to day survival.

The first Europeans to become aware of Western Australia were the Dutch as they sailed up the coast to their spice colonies in Indonesia. The British established a settlement at Albany in 1826, and then Perth 1829. The colony struggled with a harsh climate, poor soils, and isolation from the rest of the world.

From the early 1890's a series of rich goldfields were discovered starting at Cue, Mount Magnet, Southern Cross, Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. This led to huge gold rushes, with people travelling to the state from all over the world, in the hope of making their fortune. As time has gone, other mineral riches have come to the fore, like nickel and iron ore, with mining now the mainstay of the Western Australian economy. Western Australia holds 30% of the worlds gold reserves, 20% of its nickel, 80% tantalum, 60% rare earths, the largest diamond mine in the world, major iron ore deposits, significant platinum, vanadium, titanium, bauxite, mineral sands, and natural gas.

The most important geological province in Western Australia is the Yilgarn Craton, covering approximately one third of the state. This is an old land ranging from 4.4 Ga to 2.63 Ga. The craton contains widespread granite, granodiorite, tholeiitic basalt, and komatiite volcanism, regional metamorphism. Further the northern and eastern parts have large scale north north-west to south-south-east greenstone belts, often hundreds of kilometres long, containing many gold and nickel deposits.

South of the craton, and along the south coast is the Albany-Fraser Orogen. West is the Perth Basin, the edge marked by the Darling Scarp. North of the Perth Basin, along the coast to Onslow is the Carnarvon Basin. The north section of the Pilbara holds the Pilbara Craton, immediately south of this is the Hamersley Basin, Ashburton Basin, Capricorn Orogeny, the Bangemall Basin in the northern Mid-West region.

The Great Sandy Desert region holds the Canning Basin (roughly the size of Spain). To the north is the Kimberley Basin of Hart Dolerite and Carson Volcanics. This is bordered to the south in a wide coast to coast arc of a Devonian aged reef system.

Some geological attractions include:
1. The earliest evidence of life on Earth in 3.5 billion year old Pilbara rocks.
2. The oldest dated zircons in the world at Jack Hills leading to new theories about early 'fireball' Earth.
3. Modern stromatolites at Shark Bay and lesser known locations along the west coast.
4. Wheatbelt granites, including one that forms a surreal wave (Wave Rock).
5. Bungle Bungle banded domed rock mountains in the eastern Kimberley, and various gorges in the Karajini National Park.
6. One of the largest Devonian age barrier reef systems in the world, bordering the southern section of the Kimberley.
7. Wolfe Creek Crater, the second largest meteorite crater in the world.
8. Pinnacle Desert north of Perth
9. Mount Augustus, the largest monolith in the world.
10. Variety and number of mines, ranging from old historic gold mining shafts, to industrial scale iron ore mines.

Mineral specimens from Western Australia, are generally large ore types
from oxidised zones. Coffee table gemstone specimens are rare, as most have been weathered to clay over the eons. The State holds several low grade emerald deposits, specimen value only elbaite in restricted locations, and two tightly controlled diamond mines in the Kimberley.

Internationally collectors are most likely to see, tiger iron and tiger eye, zebra stone, various jaspers from the Mid-West region, rare secondary nickel species, large hematite type specimens, and Whim Creek wulfenite/secondary copper specimens. Others do exist but rarely get seen overseas. The collecting community in Western Australia is small and few inhabit the internet. MINSOCWA is the local mineral specimen collecting club, based in Perth.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
Acanthite
Actinolite
Adamite
Aegirine
'Aeschynite'
Agardite-(Ce)
Agardite-(Nd)
Agardite-(Y)
Aheylite
Aikinite
Akrochordite
Alabandite
Albite
var: Andesine
var: Cleavelandite
var: Oligoclase
'Albite-Anorthite Series'
Aleksite
'Alkali Feldspar'
Allanite-(Ce)
Allanite Group
Allanite-(Y)
Allophane
Almandine
'Almandine-Pyrope Series'
'Almandine-Spessartine Series'
Altaite
Aluminite
Alunite
Amblygonite
Amphibole Supergroup
var: Uralite
Analcime
Anatase
Andalusite
var: Chiastolite
var: Viridine
Andradite
'Andradite-Grossular Series'
Anglesite
Anhydrite
Ankerite
Annabergite
Anorthite
var: Bytownite
var: Labradorite
Anthophyllite
Antigorite
Antimony
Antlerite
'Apatite'
'var: Collophane'
Aphthitalite
Aragonite
Arcanite
var: Taylorite (of Dana)
Archerite (TL)
Ardealite
Arfvedsonite
Arsenic
Arseniosiderite
Arsenogorceixite
Arsenopyrite
Arsentsumebite
Ashburtonite (TL)
Atacamite
Atheneite
Augite
var: Ferroaugite
Aurichalcite
Aurostibite
Autunite
Awaruite
Axinite-(Fe)
'Axinite Group'
Azurite
Babingtonite
Baddeleyite
Baryte
'Bastnäsite'
Batisite
'Bauxite'
Bavenite
Bayldonite
Beaverite-(Cu)
Beidellite
Berlinite
Berthierine
Berthierite
Bertrandite
Beryl
var: Alkali-beryl
var: Aquamarine
var: Emerald
var: Heliodor
Berzelianite
Beudantite
'Bindheimite'
'Biotite'
Biphosphammite (TL)
Birnessite
Bismite
Bismoclite
Bismuth
Bismuthinite
Bismutite
Bismutoferrite
'Bitumen'
Bityite
Bixbyite
'Black Jade'
Blödite
Bobierrite
Böhmite
Bornite
Boulangerite
Bournonite
'Brabantite'
Braggite
Brannerite
Braunite
Breithauptite
Brezinaite
Brochantite
Brucite
Brushite
Buckhornite
Cadmium
Calaverite
Calciosamarskite
Calcite
var: Cobaltoan Calcite
var: Ferroan Calcite
var: Manganoan Calcite
Caledonite
Carminite
Carnotite
'Carrboydite' (FRL)
Carrollite
Cassidyite (TL)
Cassiterite
'Cat's Eye'
Celadonite
Celestine
Cerianite-(Ce)
Ceruleite
Cerussite
Chalcanthite
Chalcocite
Chalcomenite
Chalconatronite
Chalcophanite
Chalcopyrite
Chamosite
var: Daphnite
Chenevixite
'Chert'
'var: Taconite'
Chlorapatite
Chlorargyrite
var: Bromian Chlorargyrite
'Chlorite Group'
'var: Brunsvigite'
Chloritoid
Chrisstanleyite
Chromite
Chrysoberyl
var: Alexandrite
Chrysocolla
'Chrysoprase'
Chrysotile
Churchite-(Y)
Cinnabar
Clausthalite
'Clay'
Clinoatacamite
Clinobisvanite (TL)
Clinochlore
var: Chromian Clinochlore
var: Ripidolite
var: Sheridanite
Clinoclase
Clinoenstatite
'Clinopyroxene Subgroup'
Clinozoisite
Cobaltite
Cobaltpentlandite
Coesite
Coffinite
Cohenite
Collinsite
Coloradoite
'Columbite'
Columbite-(Fe) (TL)
Columbite-(Mn)
Conichalcite
Connellite
Cookeite
Cooperite
Copper
Cordierite
Corkite
Cornetite
Cornubite
Cornwallite
Coronadite
Corundum
var: Ruby
var: Sapphire
Cosalite
Covellite
Crandallite
Cristobalite
Crocoite
Cronstedtite
Cryptomelane
Cubanite
Cumengeite
Cummingtonite
Cuprite
Cuproroméite
'Cymatolite'
Cyrilovite
Danielsite (TL)
Datolite
Daubréelite
Descloizite
Diaboleite
Diamond
Diaspore
Digenite
Diopside
var: Chromian Diopside
Djurleite
'Doelterite'
Dolomite
var: Cobaltoan Dolomite
var: Ferroan Dolomite
var: Manganoan Dolomite
Dravite
Dufrénite
Duftite
Dussertite
Eastonite
Elbaite
Emplectite
Enstatite
var: Bronzite
Epidote
Epsomite
Ernienickelite (TL)
Erythrite
Eucairite
Euclase
Eucryptite
Eulytine
Euxenite-(Y)
Felbertalite
'Feldspar Group'
Ferberite
'Fergusonite'
Fergusonite-(Y)
Ferrihydrite
Ferrimolybdite
Ferrisicklerite
Ferro-actinolite
Ferro-holmquistite (TL)
Ferro-hornblende
'Ferro-tschermakite'
Fibroferrite
'Florencite'
'Fluocerite'
Fluorapatite
var: Mn-bearing Fluorapatite
Fluorite
Foggite
Formanite-(Y) (TL)
Fornacite
Forsterite
var: Peridot
Franklinite
Freibergite
'Gadolinite'
Gadolinite-(Y)
Gahnite
Galena
Galenobismutite
'Garnet'
'Garnierite'
Gartrellite (TL)
Gaspéite
Gearksutite
Gedrite
Georgeite (TL)
Gersdorffite
Gibbsite
Gillardite (TL)
'Glass'
Glauconite
Glaukosphaerite (TL)
Godlevskite
Goethite
Gold
var: Electrum
Goldmanite
'Goongarrite'
Gorceixite
Gordonite
Goslarite
Goyazite
Graftonite
Graphite
var: Cliftonite
Greenalite
Greenockite
Grossular
Groutite
Grunerite
Guanine
Gudmundite
Gypsum
var: Satin Spar Gypsum
Hafnon
Halite
'Halloysite'
Halotrichite
Hannayite
Hawleyite
Haxonite
Heazlewoodite
Hedenbergite
Helvine
Hematite
var: Martite
var: Specularite
Hemimorphite
Hercynite
Hessite
Hexahydrite
Hidalgoite
Hisingerite
Hollandite
Holmquistite
Holtite (TL)
Honeaite (TL)
'Hornblende'
Hübnerite
Huntite
Hureaulite
'Hyalophane'
Hydrohonessite (TL)
Hydrokenoelsmoreite
var: Ferritungstite
Hydromagnesite
Hydrotalcite
Hydroxyapophyllite-(K)
Hydroxycalciomicrolite
Hydroxylapatite
var: Carbonate-rich Hydroxylapatite
Hydrozincite
'Hypersthene'
Ilmenite
var: Picroilmenite
Inesite
Iodargyrite
Iowaite
Irarsite
Iron
var: Kamacite
Isocubanite
Ixiolite
Jagüéite
'Jahnsite Group'
Jamesonite
Jarosite
'Jaspillite'
Jeppeite (TL)
Jordanite
'Joséite'
Junoite
Kambaldaite (TL)
Kaolinite
Kasolite
'Kenomagnetite'
'Kerolite'
'K Feldspar'
'var: Adularia'
Kimrobinsonite (TL)
Koechlinite
Konyaite
Kostovite
Krennerite
Krupkaite
Kutnohorite
Kyanite
'Lanthanite'
Laumontite
Laurionite
Lavendulan
'Lechatelierite
var: Fulgurite'

'Lepidolite'
Leucite
Leucophosphite (TL)
'Leucoxene'
Libethenite
'Limonite'
Linarite
Linnaeite
Lipscombite
Lithiophilite
Lithiophorite
Lizardite
Löllingite
Lonsdaleite
Loveringite (TL)
Lucasite-(Ce) (TL)
Luetheite
Mackinawite
Maghemite
Magnesio-hornblende
Magnesite
var: Breunnerite
var: Nickeloan Magnesite
'Magnesium'
Magnetite
var: Titaniferous Magnetite
var: Vanado-Magnetite
Majakite
Majorite (TL)
Malachite
Maldonite
'Manganese'
'Manganese Oxides'
Manganite
Mansfieldite
Marcasite
Margarite
'Maskelynite'
Massicot
Maucherite
Mawbyite
Mcguinnessite
'Melilite Group'
Melkovite
Melonite
Meneghinite
Merenskyite
Merrillite
Metanatroautunite
Metatorbernite
Metavariscite
Metazeunerite
'Mica Group'
Michenerite
Microcline
var: Amazonite
Microlite Group
var: Cesstibtantite
Millerite
Mimetite
Minnesotaite
Minyulite (TL)
Mirabilite
Mitridatite
Mixite
Mogánite
Moissanite
Molybdenite
'Monazite'
Monazite-(Ce)
'Monazite Group'
Monazite-(La)
Moncheite
Monetite
Montbrayite
Montebrasite
Montgomeryite
Montmorillonite
'Mookaite'
Moolooite (TL)
Moraesite
Morenosite
Mottramite
'Motukoreaite'
Mountkeithite (TL)
Mundrabillaite (TL)
Murdochite
Muscovite
var: Damourite
var: Fuchsite
var: Illite
var: Phengite
var: Sericite
Mushistonite
Nagyágite
Natanite
Natroalunite
Natrojarosite
Natropharmacosiderite (TL)
Naumannite
Neotocite
Népouite
Newberyite
Nickel
Nickelblödite (TL)
Nickelhexahydrite
Nickeline
Nimite
Nolanite
Nontronite
Noonkanbahite
Nsutite
Nuffieldite
Nullaginite (TL)
Okenite
Oldhamite
Olivenite
'Olivine'
Oosterboschite
Opal
var: Common Opal
var: Diatomite
var: Moss Opal
var: Opal-AN
var: Opaline
var: Precious Opal
Orpiment
Orthoclase
'Orthopyroxene Subgroup'
Osarizawaite
Osbornite
Otavite
Otwayite (TL)
Oxammite
Palladium
Palladoarsenide
Palygorskite
Paragonite
Paralaurionite
Paraotwayite (TL)
Paratacamite
Paratacamite-(Ni) (TL)
'Parisite'
Parkerite
Pecoraite (TL)
Pekoite
Pentlandite
Perovskite
Perroudite
Perryite
'Perthite'
Petalite
Petzite
Pharmacosiderite
Phenakite
Philipsbornite
Phlogopite
Phosgenite
Phosphammite (TL)
Pigeonite
Platarsite
Platinum
Plattnerite
'Plessite'
Plumbogummite
Plumbojarosite
Pollucite
Polydymite
Potarite
Potassic-fluoro-richterite
Powellite
Prehnite
Priderite (TL)
Pseudomalachite
'Psilomelane'
Pucherite
'Pumpellyite'
Purpurite
Putnisite (TL)
Pyrargyrite
Pyrite
var: Bravoite
Pyroaurite
'Pyrobitumen
var: Thucholite'

'Pyrochlore'
Pyrochlore Group
'Pyrochlore Supergroup'
Pyrolusite
Pyromorphite
Pyrope
'Pyroxene Group'
Pyrrhotite
Quartz
var: Agate
var: Amethyst
var: Bloodstone
var: Carnelian
var: Chalcedony
var: Chrome-Chalcedony
var: Jasper
var: Moss Agate
var: Onyx
var: Prase
var: Rock Crystal
var: Rose Quartz
var: Smoky Quartz
'Quartzite'
Reevesite (TL)
Retgersite
'Rhabdophane'
Rhodochrosite
Richterite
Rickardite
Riebeckite
Riebeckite Root Name
var: Crocidolite

Ringwoodite
Roaldite (TL)
Robertsite
Rockbridgeite
Romanèchite
Rosasite
Roscoelite
Rucklidgeite
Russellite
Rutile
var: Ilmenorutile
var: Nigrine
var: Niobian Rutile
var: Strüverite
Rynersonite
Sabugalite
Saddlebackite (TL)
Safflorite
Samarskite-(Y)
Sampleite
Saponite
Sauconite
'Saussurite'
'Scapolite'
'Schalenblende'
Scheelite
Schorl
Schreibersite
Scorodite
Segelerite
Segnitite
Selenium
Sepiolite
'Serpentine Subgroup'
Shandite
Sicklerite
Siderite
Siegenite
'Silica'
Sillimanite
Silver
var: Amalgam
Simpsonite (TL)
Sinoite
Skutterudite
'Smectite Group'
Smithsonite
Smythite
'Soapstone'
Spangolite
'Speculite'
Sperrylite
Spessartine
Sphalerite
var: Marmatite
Spinel
Spionkopite
Spodumene
var: Kunzite
Stannite
Staurolite
Stercorite
Stibiopalladinite
Stibiotantalite (TL)
Stibnite
Stichtite
'Stilbite'
Stilpnomelane
Strengite
Stromeyerite
Strontianite
Stützite
Sudburyite
Suessite (TL)
Sulphur
Sylvanite
Sylvite
Symplesite
Syngenite
Taenite
Takovite
Talc
'Tantalite'
Tantalite-(Fe)
Tantalite-(Mn)
Tanteuxenite-(Y) (TL)
Tantite
'Tapiolite'
Tapiolite-(Fe)
Taranakite
'Tektite'
Tellurantimony
Tellurium
Tellurobismuthite
Telluropalladinite
Temagamite
Tennantite
'Tennantite-Tetrahedrite Series'
Tenorite
'Testibiopalladite'
Tetradymite
Tetraferriannite (TL)
Tetrahedrite
var: Argentian Tetrahedrite
Tetrataenite
Thénardite
Thorianite
Thorite
'Thorogummite'
Tiemannite
'Tiger Iron'
'Tiger's Eye'
'var: Falcon's Eye'
Tintinaite
Titanite
var: Grothite ?
Titanium
Tivanite (TL)
Tochilinite
Todorokite
Tomichite (TL)
Topaz
'Tourmaline'
'var: Indicolite'
'var: Rubellite'
'var: Verdelite'
Tranquillityite
Tremolite
Trevorite
Tridymite
Trilithionite
Triphylite
Tripuhyite
Troilite
Trona
Tschermakite
Tsumcorite
Tsumoite
Tučekite (TL)
'Turgite'
Turquoise
Tyuyamunite
Ullmannite
'UM1976-21-SO:AlCuHNi'
'UM1977-10-PO:CaClKMg'
'UM1994-19-PO:CuHMoPb'
Umangite
'Unnamed (Ca-analogue of Petterdite)'
'Unnamed (Ca–Ce–Sm–Nd silicate)'
Uraninite
Uranophane
Uranophane-β
Urea (TL)
Uricite (TL)
Uvarovite
Vaesite
Valleriite
Vanadinite
Variscite
var: Ferrian Variscite
Vauquelinite
Vermiculite
Vesuvianite
Violarite
Vivianite
Volynskite
'Wad'
'var: Cobaltian Wad'
Wadeite (TL)
Walentaite
Wardite
Wavellite
Weddellite
Weissite
Whewellite
'Whiteite Group'
Whitlockite
Widgiemoolthalite (TL)
Willemite
Wodginite (TL)
'Wolframite'
Woodallite (TL)
Wulfenite
'Wyomingite'
'Xenotime'
Xenotime-(Y)
Xonotlite
Yttrotantalite-(Y)
Zincite
'Zinnwaldite'
Zircon
var: Cyrtolite
var: Oyamalite
Zirconolite
Zoisite


863 entries listed. 613 valid minerals. 55 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals. 1 (FRL) - first recorded locality of unapproved mineral/variety/etc.

Localities in this Region

Australia
Australia

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.

References

Krusch, P. (1903): Contribution for the knowledge of the usable deposits of West Australia. Ztschr. f. praktische Geologie 11, 321-331.

Carroll, D. (1945): Census of Western Australian Minerals. Mineral Resources of Western Australia, Dept. of Mines Bull. 1, 72 pp.

Simpson, E. S. (1948-52): Minerals of Western Australia. William H. Wyatt, Pert, 3 Volumes, 483, 675 and 714 pp. Reprinted 1984, by Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia, 631, 675 and 714 pp.

Blockley, J.G. (1971): The lead, zinc and silver deposits of Western Australia. Mineral Resources Bulletin 9, Geological Survey of Western Australia, 234 pp.

Marston, R.J. (1979): Copper Mineralisation in Western Australia. Mineral Resources Bulletin 13, Geological Survey of Western Australia, 208 pp.

Ferguson, K. M. (1999): Lead, Zinc and Silver Deposits of Western Australia. Mineral Resources Bulletin 15, Geological Survey of Western Australia, 314 pp. (update of Blockley, 1971)

Jacobson, M.I., Calderwood, M.A. and Grguric, B.A. (2007): Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Victoria Park, WA, Australia, 356 pp.

Fetherston, J. M., Stocklmayer, S. M. and Stocklmayer, V. C. (2013): Gemstones of Western Australia. Mineral Resources Bulletin 25, Geological Survey of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, 306 pp. [free online PDF version: http://geodocs.doir.wa.gov.au/search.jsp?cabinetId=1101&Combined=N11EC]

(General Western Australia article written by Kim Macdonald)

External Links

http://www.dmp.wa.gov.au/371.aspx (Dept. of Mines and Petroleum)
http://www.doir.wa.gov.au/371.aspx ('Geoscience Services' of the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA); on-line databases MINEX and WAMEX)
http://www.earthmuseum.see.uwa.edu.au/
http://www.museum.wa.gov.au

Mineral and/or Locality  
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