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Iwami mine (Iwami-ginzan), Ōda City, Shimane Prefecture, Chugoku region, Honshu Island, Japan

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 35° 9' 51'' North , 132° 26' 30'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 35.1644444444, 132.441666667
Other regions containing this locality:Asia

The area commonly known as the Iwami "mine" is actually a small mining district which historically had about 600 adits and shafts. Epithermal vein-type gold-silver-copper deposit which, during part of the Middle Ages, produced a third of the world's annual silver output. The mine was the largest silver mine in Japanese history.
The Ag-Cu veins are hosted in a dacitic intrusive body at the deep portion of the Eikyu area, and veinlets with disseminated Ag mineralization in dacitic tuff breccia at a shallow portion of the Fukuishi area. Hydrothermal alteration associated with the silver mineralization is characterized by intense potassium metasomatism with oxidizing conditions.

Discovered around 1300, reopened in 1525. Last worked from 1891 to 1919 or 1923 (sources differ).
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

11 valid minerals.

Localities in this Region


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- Kamitani, M., Okumura, K., Teraoka, Y., Miyano, S., and Watanabe, Y. (2007): Mineral Resources Map of East Asia. Geological Survey of Japan.
- Nanshi Zeng, Eiji Izawa, Koichiro Watanabe and Yoshinobu Motomura (2010): Hydrothermal Alteration Related to Silver Mineralization at the Iwami Silver Deposit, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. Resource Geology 60, 234-248.

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