Wingellina Ni-Laterite Deposit, Wingellina Community, West Musgrave Block, Ngaanyatjarraku Shire, Western Australia, AustraliaOxidic iron-rich nickel-cobalt deposit in deeply weathered ultramafic rocks. Discovered in the 1970s.
Located on Aboriginal land in the remote central east sector of Western Australia close to the South Australian border.
One source states discovered in 1950's and the other 1970's both by Inco. ( it also states Tollu discovered in 1957 by Inco). Little more was done for 25 years due to a ban on mining by the local aboriginal land council. This has been relaxed in recent years. Metals X presently controls the deposit, along with Claude Hills in South Australia, 30 kilometres to the east. Wingellina is one of the world's largest nickeliferous oxide limonite deposits. Metals X is seeking a financial partner to develop the site, however its remoteness, lack of infrasture and distance from a port has prevented any such developments.
The band of mineralization occurs up to 600 metres wide along a 10 kilometre strike and usually 80-100 metres below the surface. The band trends north-west to south-east immediately north-east of the Wingellina indigenous community. The resource is 167 MT at 1% Ni and 0.08% Cobalt. Should a mine ever develop, its estimated life would be 46 years producing 40 000 tonnes of nickel and 3000 tonnes of cobalt per annum.
Such an important mineral occurrence should have more geology information printed about it, however its apparent simply geology being nickel grades in clay seems to discourage scientific investigation. The prospect is hosted within ultramafic rocks of the Wingellina layered intrusive complex. The deep oxidation of the ultramafic rocks has resulted in the formation of significant iron rich nickel/cobalt oxides. The exposure of ocherous clays highlights the presence of outcropping nickel oxide mineralization over wide areas of the deposit.
Nickel grades are associated with yellow-brown and red-brown ochre stained Iron rich clays, developed over dunite in the layered sequence. High grade cobalt bands are associated with discrete manganese oxides within the oxide profiles.
One source states gem quality chrysoprase is associated with the ocherous clays. As the gemstone also occurs at Jamieson and Claude Hills, and is generally associated with nickel provinces in Western Australia, it is possible. Access is not possible as the sites are on aboriginal reserves.
1 entry listed.
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