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Atacamite

Posted by Ralph Bottrill  
avatar
Ralph Bottrill March 31, 2009 01:58PM
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, Ralph and Currier Rock (2010) Atacamite. revision 1.0. Mindat Best Minerals Project, article "mesg-66-132658". Please be advised that the photos cannot be used without the consent of the copyright holder


Atacamite
Cu2<(OH)3|Cl> Monoclinic



Wallaroo mines, Kadina, South Australia ~5cm wide
Wallaroo mines, Kadina, South Australia ~5cm wide
Wallaroo mines, Kadina, South Australia ~5cm wide



The Copper mines around Moonta and Kadina, South Australia are generally considered to have produced the world’s best of the species, although specimens are hard to come by these days. The Mineralogical Society of South Australia Inc has adopted Atacamite as its official Emblem.

Atacamite was found originally in one of the many copper mines in the Atacama Desert, Chile, and named by D. de Gallizen in 1801. It is a copper(II) chloride hydroxide, and is polymorphous with Botallackite and paratacamite. Its colour is various shades of green, usually dark. Atacamite is a comparatively rare mineral, formed from primary copper minerals in the oxidation or weathering zone, in arid climates or in coastal outcrops. Found at many localities mostly as green micro crystals. The great exceptions are the “green sticks” that were found at the New Cornwall mine in South Australia


AtacamiteAustraliaNew South Wales, Yancowinna Co., Broken Hill

Atacamite 5mm crystals
Atacamite 5mm crystals
Atacamite 5mm crystals



# Block 14 Opencut
Australian Min. 3:1 (1997)
# Kintore Opencut
Australian Mineralogist (1997): 3: 1.


AtacamiteAustraliaQueensland, Mt Isa - Cloncurry area, Mt Isa, Mount Oxide Copper mine

Atacamite FOV ~12mm
Atacamite FOV ~12mm
Atacamite FOV ~12mm



These old mines were reopened in the 1980's and 1990's, producing some excellent specimens of a range of copper minerals, but the atacamite were mostly micros.

Refs
- Day, B. E. & Beyer, B. D. (1996): Some mines of the Mt Isa district. Part 3 - The Mt Oxide mine. Australian J. of Mineralogy 2 (1), 3-10. Mount Oxide Copper mine, Mt Isa, Mt Isa - Cloncurry area, Queensland, Australia


AtacamiteAustraliaSouth Australia, Andamooka Ranges - Lake Torrens area, Stuart Shelf area, Mt Gunson

Atacamite 4.2cm wide
Atacamite ~5cm wide
Atacamite 4.2cm wide
Atacamite ~5cm wide
Atacamite 4.2cm wide
Atacamite ~5cm wide
Atacamite ~2cm wide
Atacamite 6.1cm wide
Atacamite ~2cm wide
Atacamite 6.1cm wide
Atacamite ~2cm wide
Atacamite 6.1cm wide
Atacamite FOV 2.1mm
Atacamite FOV 2.1mm
Atacamite FOV 2.1mm



Surprisingly little has been written on this mining district, which has produced a lot of very good Atacamite and gypsum.The Cattle Grid mine is of the main workings and was an open cut operation which operated on four orebodies at Mt Gunson, being the Main Open Cut, West Lagoon, East Lagoon and Cattle Grid. The Cattle Grid mine lasted from 1974 to around 1986 .

Most of the atacamite occurs in nodules, some holllow, but some show specimens of crystals on matrix also occur. Specimens are typically small and relatively cheap (<$100).


AtacamiteAustraliaSouth Australia, Eyre peninsula, Middleback Range, Iron Knob, Iron Monarch open cut

Atacamite FOV 8mm
Atacamite FOV 8mm
Atacamite FOV 8mm






AtacamiteAustraliaSouth Australia, Mt Lofty Ranges, North Mt Lofty Ranges, Burra Burra Mine

Atacamite 4.8cm tall
Atacamite 4.8cm tall
Atacamite 4.8cm tall



This mineral is rare in this famous old mine and this latter picture has been queried, although it appears different to those from other Australian (and overseas) localities.

Atacamite was found at Burra as dark green, flattened crystalline nodules to 40mm on sandstone and as earthy crusts and black-green crystals to 1 mm lining vughy quartz1. It is contended that Atacamite from Burra virtually never exceeded around 5mm in length. The book also notes that most fine Atacamites labelled as from Burra almost certainly came from the Moonta-Wallaroo district approximately 90km further west.

Ref
- Ben Grguric, Alan Pring and Greg Drew, 1971 “Minerals of the Burra Mine”, Dept of Mines and Energy of South Australia.Special Publication No. 11


AtacamiteAustraliaSouth Mt Lofty Ranges, Barossa Valley, Tanunda, Gomersal Mine



Some quite good specimens have been collected from this little known mine, mostly as nodules, but collecting is presently prohibited by the landowner.
The mine site has been rehabilitated and replaced with a large dam to prevent any access.
All access to this property is now banned.


AtacamiteAustraliaSouth Australia, Yorke Peninsula, Kadina, New Cornwall Mine (Kadina Mine)

Atacamite 2.7cm wide
Atacamite FOV 2.5mm
Atacamite 2.7cm wide
Atacamite FOV 2.5mm
Atacamite 2.7cm wide
Atacamite FOV 2.5mm
Atacamite, main crystal is 12mm tall
Atacamite, main crystal is 12mm tall
Atacamite, main crystal is 12mm tall



A lovely dark crystal of Atacamite from the famous New Cornwall Mine at Kadina, home of the Wallaroo Mines. This locality has produced the largest and arguably best crystals of Atacamite in the world. There is some doubt as to where exactly many of the old specimens came from - probably many of the mines in the Kadina and adjacent Moonta area produced good atacamite.

The dark green atacamite “sticks” produced at this locality are the most sought after of all atacamite specimens. These specimens are about two orders of magnitude better than specimens from the next best atacamite locality. “The Moonta-Wallaroo area is probably best known as a source. Some early workers thought that these specimens came from Burra, South Australia, an error which was unfortunately perpetuated in parts of the literature, notable Brauns (1912) and more recently by Scalisi & Cook (1983).”1 “ Atacamite was the most abundant mineral in the upper oxidized zones at both Moonta and Wallaroo, where it occurred as large masses and as crystals lining vugs. The New Cornwall mine at Kadina is probably the source of all the world’s finest atacamite crystals; here crystals of exceptional size were found, single crystals to 23 cm in length having been reported (Cloud, 1882). Groups of crystals with individuals over 5 cm in length and 1 cm in diameter were not uncommon. Crystals are typically chizel-shaped, the dominant forms being {110} and {011}. You will be lucky if you can even ever get a good 3 cm crystal. Don’t let the number of photos here of fine atacamites fool you into thinking that these are common. These specimens are very difficult to get. The price range on them would probably be from ten to thirty thousand dollars each and probably more. The mine that produced these specimens closed over a hundred years ago and none have been found since.

Ref
Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 72. RB94/00041;Janz 1990 (unpublished honours thesis) + self prospected


AtacamiteAustraliaSouth Australia, Yorke Peninsula, Kadina, Wallaroo Mine

Atacamite ~5cm tall
Atacamite ~6cm tall
Atacamite ~5cm tall
Atacamite ~6cm tall
Atacamite ~5cm tall
Atacamite ~6cm tall
Atacamite 5.4cm wide
Atacamite 3.4cm wide
Atacamite 5.4cm wide
Atacamite 3.4cm wide
Atacamite 5.4cm wide
Atacamite 3.4cm wide


See the discussion under the New Cornwall Mine (Kadina Mine) above. Fine plates of atacamite were found at the Doora mine south of the Wallaroo mines; here the atacamite crystals were not elongated, but typically 6 mm on edge.”1

1 Alan Pring, South Australia Museum, Mineralogical Record Vol. 19 p412-3.
Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 72.


AtacamiteAustraliaSouth Australia, Yorke Peninsula, Moonta, Moonta mines

Atacamite ~7cm wide
Atacamite crystal ~5cm tall
Atacamite ~7cm wide
Atacamite crystal ~5cm tall
Atacamite ~7cm wide
Atacamite crystal ~5cm tall

See the discussion under the New Cornwall Mine (Kadina Mine) above.

Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 72; Anthony, J. W. et al. (1997): Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. 3, 29.


AtacamiteAustraliaSouth Australia, Yorke Peninsula, Moonta, Moonta mines, Poona mine

The Poona Mine, Moonta was a source of very good atacamite in the early 1990s. The Cl content meant it was excluded from the concentrate and the atacamite was collected in a pile by the mining company. The primary ore was chalcopyrite and chalcocite/digenite/djurleite with pyrite crystals up to about 6 cm. The atacamite often contains limonite pseudomorphs after pyrite.


AtacamiteAustraliaWestern Australia, Ravensthorpe district

Atacamite 4.5cm tall
Atacamite 4.5cm tall
Atacamite 4.5cm tall



Two-sided specimen of radiating green blades of atacamite from an uncommon Australian locality. Although it resembles the atacamite nodules from the Mt Gunson Mine, South Australia, it was recorded from this area by Simpson in 1939, but the exact location is uncertain - HELP NEEDED!


AtacamiteChileChuquicamata
6x6cm
6x6cm
6x6cm


“Atacamite was once locally abundant in the upper 35 m of the deposit. Thousands of Chilean atacamite specimens, many of them from Chuquicamata, have been disseminated over the years to mineral collections worldwide. Typically it occurs in maroon-colored iron oxide matrix as chisel-shaped crystals, masses of long acicular crystals , or as matted masses of minute prismatic crystals…(it may) in fact replace antlerite in the paragenetic sequence. Atacamite typically occurs in intimate association with kröhnkite and natrochalcite. Veinlets of atacamite cut turquoise and occur on crystals of leightonite...It is commonly associated with chrysocolla and generally appears to be the earlier-formed mineral. Exceptional specimens of atacamite are currently encountered during the reworking of older dump material and in abandoned areas of the uppermost portion of the deposit, particularly in the northeast end of the pit.”1 The specimens the author is talking about are not as attractive as the ones from the Farola mine and light years away in quality from the best from Australia.
1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 9, 1978, p324.
It was a copper ore mineral locally, including from the E3 Bench.

AtacamiteChileAtacama Region (TL), Copiapó Province, Tierra Amarilla, Las Pintadas district, Cerro Pintado, La Farola Mine

Atacamtie ~9cm tall
Atacamite "floater" ~3.5cm tall
Atacamtie ~9cm tall
Atacamite "floater" ~3.5cm tall
Atacamtie ~9cm tall
Atacamite "floater" ~3.5cm tall
Atacamite xl. 2mm
Atacamite 4cm wide
Atacamite xl. 2mm
Atacamite 4cm wide
Atacamite xl. 2mm
Atacamite 4cm wide
Atacamite FOV 15mm
Atacamite, Libethenite 8.5mm wide
Atacamite FOV 15mm
Atacamite, Libethenite 8.5mm wide
Atacamite FOV 15mm
Atacamite, Libethenite 8.5mm wide
Atacamite "floater" ~3cm across
Atacamite 4.7cm wide
Atacamite "floater" ~3cm across
Atacamite 4.7cm wide
Atacamite "floater" ~3cm across
Atacamite 4.7cm wide

The original Atacamite find is probably to be assigned to Carmen mine, in the Copiapó Province, Atacama Region; the very first outstanding find of xls was due to ethnic & indigenous groups, whom during the 18 century were also miners and metallurgists in the Atacama desert. According to a Chilean historical amateur of mineralogy and mine history, Ricardo Lira, the atacamite xls (up to 1 cm) were sent to the Russian court of Prince Golytzin (1820 approx), who was suddenly captivated and stunned by the beauty of this green mineral. This material was possibly recovered from the Carmen mine, now lost and possibly not so far from Ojancos/Pintados districts.

This region still produces much of the world’s Atacamite specimens.

During the last 20 years the Farola mine has produced a fairly continuous stream of pretty atacamite specimens. These are flat laying radial sprays of shiny, dark green crystals on andesite. The best of these specimens show these green flat laying stars up to 8 cm or so in diameter intergrown or isolated or partially isolated on a thin layer of chrysocolla. Some specimens have micro Libethenite crystals on them. The specimens grow on the surfaces of large pieces of hard breccia and many specimens have to be hammered or sawed off the larger blocks. Sometimes between these breccia blocks are spaces that that are wide enough that you can reach into them. Sometimes just laying loose in these cracks are loose floater “stars” of atacamite that you can just pick up. The value of these specimens would probably be less than $500 each. I did a couple of digs in the Farola mine in the 1980’s and each time returned with several hundred kilograms of atacamite specimens on breccia blocks. Sometimes the blocks of breccia were as large as refrigerators and about the only practical way you could get specimens from the surfaces was to pound away on the edges of these blocks to try and spawl off a piece of rock from its face that had good crystals on it.



AtacamiteChileAtacama Region (TL), Copiapó Province, Tierra Amarilla, Las Pintadas district, Restauradora mine

Atacamite 9.1cm wide
Atacamite 9.1cm wide
Atacamite 9.1cm wide


The sample from Restauradora mine (formerly in the colection of Philadelphia Academy) was very probable colected/buyed by famous american mineralogist and entepreneur Sam Gordon, during one of his trip to Chile and South America, among 1930-1940. The relevant thing of this sample, is the combination of flat sharp leaves-like xls forming a sort of drusy-nest ensamble, and the elonged deep light reflectant thicker xls, visible on the detailed foto.


AtacamiteChileSierra Gorda, Mina Herminia



“Some time ago a specimens measuring 8x5x2 cm, studded with very well developed atacamite crystals up to 16 mm in length, from Mina Herminia…was obtained by one of the authors.”1 The picture in the Mineralogical Record looks good. I have never seen one of these.

1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 11, 1980, p101.


AtacamiteChileChañaral province Province, El Salado, Mina Amor

"Almost a decade ago, some fantastic 1 cm deep green atacamite was found at this mine, which I had the opportunity to see, and really tooked my breath away....I have a fine Paratacamite from this location. It is a shame that only few samples have been recovered".




AtacamiteIranSouth Khorasan Province, Nehbandan, Qaleh-Zari Mine (Ghale Zari Mine)

Atacamite 10cm wide
Atacamite 10cm wide
Atacamite 10cm wide



AtacamiteMexicoBaja California Sur, Mun. de Mulegé, Boleó District , Santa Rosalía (El Boleó), Amelia Mine

Atacamite FOV ~8mm
Atacamite FOV ~8mm
Atacamite FOV ~8mm


Palache, C., Berman, H., & Frondel, C. (1951), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana, Yale University 1837-1892, Volume II: 79.; Copper Handbook 1911
Panczner(1987):92-350. Amelia Mine, Santa Rosalía (El Boleó), Boleó District, Mun. de Mulegé, Baja California Sur, Mexico


AtacamiteMexicoZacatecas, Conception del Oro



An atacamite pseudomorph after a 5 cm azurite crystal is pictured in the Mineralogical Record, Vol. 15, 1984, p240.


AtacamiteNamibiaOtjikoto (Oshikoto) Region, Tsumeb, Tsumeb Mine (Tsumcorp Mine)

Atacamite FOV 3mm
Atacamite FOV 3mm
Atacamite FOV 3mm


“Forms dark green to blackish green prismatic crystals to 1 cm in size. Most specimens have been found in the upper oxidation zone.”1. I have never seen a good one of these. Probably they all went to Germany during the early days when Namibia was known as German West Africa.

1 Mineralogical Record, Vol. 8, 1977, p19.

- Anthony, J. W. et al. (1997): Handbook of Mineralogy, Vol. 3, 29


AtacamitePeruIca Department, Pisco Umay, Lily Mine (Lilly Mine)

Atacamite FOV 5.5mm
Atacamite FOV 5.5mm
Atacamite FOV 5.5mm



Hyrsl & Rosales (2003) Mineralogical Record, 34, 241-254.


AtacamiteUSA,
Mammoth District, Tiger, St. Anthony deposit, Mammoth-Saint Anthony Mine (Mammoth-St Anthony Mine; Mammoth Mine; St. Anthony Mine; Tiger property; Mammoth Gold Mines Ltd. property)

Atacamite xls. ~.8mm
Atacamite xls. ~.8mm
Atacamite xls. ~.8mm


As a sop to those who collect Tiger minerals here is an image of an atacamite from this famous locality. Don’t quit your day job.

Anthony, J.W., et al (1995), Mineralogy of Arizona, 3rd.ed.: 121.


RevisionHistory

Revision no date description editor
1.02010 First Draft Ralph Bottrill and Rock Currier




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

Regards,
Ralph



Edited 31 time(s). Last edit at 12/14/2015 12:27PM by Olav Revheim.
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Rock Currier April 10, 2009 07:18AM
Ralph, I see you have started the tedious task of learning how to arrange the images and tweaking them around. Would you like me to try and help a little? In many instances I don't think we need to tell the people in the caption lines that they are looking at atacamite or where they are from because we are in the atacamite article and in most instances the images are sitting just below the bold font information block that says Atacamite + the locality. I think it is much more important to put the size of the specimen or the field of view in the caption line. We may have to add what the people are looking at to the caption line or have a separate line of caption information where there is an association that needs explanation.

I think we have the copyright problem fixed where extra advertising material was added to the right hand portion of the caption line. I think what happened was that when Dave designed the little program attached to the little red tourmaline button above he directed the wrong line of copyright data to the caption line. I think he has got that fixed now and we should not face that problem in the future. Its looking better. Keep going.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2010 07:55AM by Rock Currier.
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Maurizio Dini March 31, 2009 02:53PM
Dear Rock and friends:

about Chilean Atacamites:
The original Atacamite found is probably to be assigned to Carmen mine, in the Copiapó Province, Atacama Region; the very first oustandig find of xls was due to ethnical & indigenous groups, whom during 18 century were also miners and metalurgist around the Atacama desert.
According to a chilean historical amateur of mineralogy and mine history, Ricardo Lira, the atacamite xls (up to 1 cm) were sent to russian court of Prince Golytzin (1820 aprox), who was suddenly caught and stubbed about the beauty of this green mineral. This material was possibly recovered from the Carmen mine, actually lost and possibly not so far from Ojancos/Pintados districts.
Almost a decade ago, some seldom fantastic 1 cm deep green was found at Mina Amor, El Salado, Chañaral province, which I had the oportunity to see, and really tooked my breath away....I have a fine Paratacamite from this location. It is a shame that only few samples have been mined out.

hope to furnihs more info as soon as I check my chilean files (i.e. Mina Herminia, which has indeed things to be said)

Maurizio Dini
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Uwe Kolitsch March 31, 2009 03:12PM
I somehow doubt this one is atacamite: http://www.mindat.org/photo-80843.html - it looks too pale.
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Peter Haas March 31, 2009 03:37PM
I have my doubts about this one too. Confirmed atacamites from Botallack Mine are darker green and directly sit on a granite matrix. They're pretty rare; paratacamite is much more common.

There's also a minor problem with the locality: many specimens that are attributed to the Hazard section (Hazard lode) actually come from Corpus Christi lode, Botallack Mine proper. First, the adit on the lower cliff (Botallack adit) does lead into the latter, but not into Hazard lode (what I heard occasionally). Second, after Botallack adit collapsed (it had been cleared about 15 years ago by local collectors), the only access to Corpus Christi lode was the one down Hazard shaft and all the way through Hazard section. Much material that was sorted out and left by collectors returning from Botallack Mine was collected by others around Hazard shaft and erroneously attributed to Hazard section. There's actually no individual Hazard shaft dump left, though.
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Uwe Kolitsch March 31, 2009 04:03PM
Message sent.
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Rock Currier March 31, 2009 07:32PM
Maurizio,
That is very good stuff about the Chilean atacamites, I am sure we will include much of it in the article. Any chance of getting a picture of one of those good Chilean atacamites from Mina Amor?

Peter, I also have my doubts about the Pasto Bueno atacamite. It looks way too much like the Mina Farola atacamites for me to be comfortable with. We are going to have to cut Ralph a little slack because he is trying to create the article on atacamite mostly because he know about the Australian atacamites and I hornswaggled him into working on all of the atacamites and he is feeling his way along in this. We plan to hold to higher standards for the correctness of our images here in Best Minerals than in the photo galleries, and if there is any question of the stuff not being what it says it is or from the right place, we will not put it in the article.

Ralph, The above suggestions from Maurizio and Peter are a great example of the power of the Wikipedia type approach where everyone can chip in with information. It can be a bit disconcerting at first when we you are trying our best to get things right, but in the long run it will make the articles that appear here all that much stronger. It sure lets you know in a hurry how much you don't know.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar
Roger Lang March 31, 2009 08:12PM
Rock,
i agree with you that the peruvian atacamite is at least suspect ... my guess would be Farola too .. typical matrix and association as far i can see on the picture,

cheers
Roger
avatar
Ralph Bottrill March 31, 2009 11:20PM
Many thanks for the great feedback guys, I appreciate it and keep it coming!
I agree a couple of these images were suspect (the Cornwall one could be malachite or even agardite?) but I thought putting them up here may get quicker feedback than on the Mistakes forum (only Uwe seems to regularly check that). I will cut them out for the moment until we get some more reliable ones.
Ralph

Regards,
Ralph
avatar
Keith Compton April 01, 2009 11:31AM
Some brief notes for you on South Australian ATACAMITE

It is interesting to note that the The Mineralogical Society of South Australia Inc has adopted Atacamite as its official Emblem.

In “Minerals of the Burra Mine”, South Australia, Special Publication No. 11, by Ben Grguric, Alan Pring and Greg Drew, published by the Mines and Energy of South Australia 1971, it is indicated that Atacamite was found at Burra. It occurred as dark green, flattened crystalline nodules to 40mm on sandstone. Also found as earthy crusts and black-green crystals to 1 mm lining vughy quartz.

The book also note that most fine Atacamites labelled as from Burra almost certainly came from the Moonta-Wallaroo district approximately 90km further west.
It is contended that Atacamite from Burra virtually never exceeded around 5mm in length.

I suggest that most “modern” Atacamites from South Australia would appear to be from either the Gomersal Mine near Tanunda in the Mount Lofty Ranges or the Mount Gunson series of Mines (Mt Gunson / Cattlegrid copper Mine/ Cattle Grid Pit/ Cattle Grid Mine) in the Stuart Shelf region.

The Cattle Grid mine was an open cut operation and operated on four orebodies at Mt Gunson, being the Main Open Cut, West Lagoon, East Lagoon and Cattle Grid. The Cattle Grid mine lasted from 1974 to around 1986.

RO Chalmers in his book Australian, Rocks, Minerals and Gemstones (1967) referred to the notable Atacamites from the oxidized zones at Moonta.

I distinctly recall from the late Albert Chapman’s collection that his major Atacamite specimens were all from Moonta.

How you would distinguish a Moonta piece from Wallaroo I don’t know. You would have to rely on a detailed provenance and as these were all mined around 100 years ago that is generally difficult.
Cheers
avatar
Frank Radke (2) April 01, 2009 03:01PM
Further to South Australian atacamite. The Poona Mine, Moonta was a source of very good atacamite in the early 19990s. The Cl content meant it was excluded from the concentrate and the atacamite was collected in a pile by the mining company. The primary ore was chalcopyrite and chalcocite/digenite/djurleite with pyrite crystals up to about 6 cm. The atacamite often contains limonite pseudomorphs after pyrite.

Frank
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Stephen Turner April 02, 2009 12:33AM
Ralph / Rock,

Just a note on the atacamite specimen attributed to Ravensthorpe, West Australia. This probably is genuine - Ravensthorpe is actually a historic copper mining district - long before the nickel and pegmatites were found. In ES Simpson's now dated but authoritative volumes on the 'Minerals of Western Australia' he has a description of atacamite specimens from Ravensthorpe very similar to the pictured one, ie. 'spheroidal and botryoidal groups of radiating needles'. He also talks about 'extensive copper mining operations carried out in the early part of the century', but still small-scale by modern standards. Ravensthorpe is an under-appreciated mineral district!

This is a great project Rock!

Cheers,
Steve
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Rock Currier April 02, 2009 02:00AM
Frank, Stephen,
Thanks for the notes on those Australian atacamite localities. We will get it all sorted out in a little while I think.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
avatar
Ralph Bottrill April 02, 2009 03:21AM
Thanks Steve
We obviously need to get the WestAussies to help get the mineral deposits together here. I note from Googling there is both historic and recent copper-gold mining and exploration in the area, as well as on the Ni deposits and Li-Ta pegmatites, but there is precious little on Mindat for any of these prospects. I will add atacamite to Ravensthorpe, but any help is much appreciated.
Ralph

Regards,
Ralph
avatar
Ralph Bottrill April 02, 2009 03:56AM
Hi Frank
Many thanks fior your help here. I have not encountered any good specimens from there in recent years - hopefully you have (or can get) some photos?
Ralph

Regards,
Ralph
avatar
Ralph Bottrill April 02, 2009 04:42AM
Hi Keith
This is great information, thanks.
I agree that the exact provenance of many specimens is sometimes dubious - I dont know that I would trust the locations on all the old specimens. maybe a bit of research in the SA Museums records may help confirm some of these?
Any good photos to add?
Ralph

Regards,
Ralph
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Ralph Bottrill April 02, 2009 12:34PM
Maurizio
That is great info, many thanks, and i hope you can find some more info and photos for us
ralph

Regards,
Ralph
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Maurizio Dini April 09, 2009 03:14PM
Dear Rock, Ralph and friends:

more info about chilean Atacamites:

beside Carmen mine, in my records I have the Restauradora Mine, somewhere near Tierra Amarilla/Pintados areas; the xls found there were neat and lustrous. We have 2 pictures and 1 label pic, that I have downlaod from Dr. Rob Lavinsky web site time ago: all the fotos should be considered copyright property of Rob Lavinsky.

The sample from Restauradora mine (formerly in the colection of Philadelphia Academy) was very probable colected/buyed by famous american mineralogist and entepreneur Sam Gordon, during one of his trip to Chile and South America, among 1930-1940.

The relevant thing of this sample, is the combination of flat sharp leaves-like xls forming a sort of drusy-nest ensamble, and the elonged deep light reflectant thicker xls, visible on the detailed foto.

The Restauradora mine is another evidence that the first, best chilean atacamites camed from Copiapó province.
Have a look to it, and le tme know your opinion- They remind me somehow to the Cornish stuff!!

maurizio dini
open | download - AtacamiteCopiapóAcademyNHP.jpg (35.2 KB)
open | download - AtacamiteMRestauradoraCppo1.jpg (99.4 KB)
open | download - EtiquetaAtacamiteMRestauradoraCppo.jpg (67.6 KB)
avatar
Peter Haas April 09, 2009 03:18PM
Cornish stuff ? Atacamite is pretty rare at Cornwall and the crystals are usually microscopic. Paratacamite and botallackite are more common, although never abundant.
avatar
Rock Currier April 09, 2009 11:26PM
Maurizio,
Thank you for bringing the Atacamite images to our attention. One of them at least is the Mindat gallery. We may decide to include that locality in the article or not. The other image is apparently not in the gallery and we so far are only using images that have been uploaed to the mindat galery so as not to have to contend with copyright problems.

Rock Currier
Crystals not pistols.
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