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Northampton, Northampton Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 28° 21' 1'' South , 114° 37' 53'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -28.35029,114.63161
GeoHash:G#: qdcw8wbpw
Köppen climate type:BSh : Hot semi-arid (steppe) climate


A hilly area north of Geraldton centred on the small historic town of Northampton. Most of the old mines stretch from Northampton to the Murchison River, which marks the border between the wheatbelt and desert. Mining for lead and copper started in the 1850's making it the oldest mining area in the state. Specimens from the region are extremely rare, possibly because it was mined before thought was given to retaining such things.

The region contains the Northampton Complex, a fault bounded complex of Proterozoic aged metasediments surrounded by Mesozoic to Cenozoic aged unmetamorphosed sediments. The pelitic metamorphic rocks are composed of migmatitic gneisses and schists, and a foliated quartz-microcline-plagioclase-biotite granite in the southeastern area. Garnet and cordierite is sometimes found in this. The simple pegmatites of the Northampton complex were formed from temperatures 600-800 degrees celcius, and pressure of 560 000-700 000 Pa, and may have formed from the partial melting of the country rock. Lead and copper mineralisation fills open fissures and fault breccias formed by north north-east striking faults cutting the garnet granulite and gneiss. Often the lodes follow contacts with dolerite dykes which have intruded and follow the same strike direction, although these pre-date the mineralisation by at least 100 million years.

Mining in the region started after explorers, the Gregory brothers, discovered lead (galena) ore in the dry Murchison riverbed at Ajana to the north of Northampton. Several lead and one copper deposit were found shortly after in the same area. In 1855 copper was found at Wanerenooka Hill at present day Northampton, and by 1890 there were around 80 mines developed for lead and copper in the region.

About one quarter of the mines focussed on copper, and the remainder on lead. Sulphide mineralisation in the lead veins consists of galena, sphalerite, pyrite, marcasite and chalcopyrite, with galena the most abundant lead mineral and chalcopyrite the most abundant copper mineral. Zinc production for the field is low despite sphalerite being common. The field contains a low silver value. Galena obtained from vugs commonly form large crystals with cubic, and octahedral forms or a combination of these.

There was a revival of mining from 1910-1930, and again from 1948-1960, based on the fluctuating lead and copper prices. Sporadic mining continued till 1973, when the field was permanently abandoned. Because this field has not seen modern mining, with destructive open pit operations, many of the sites retain items of historic interest and are covered by heritage orders. Please note the removal of any historic items from these sites results in severe penalties amounting to thousands of dollars.


Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded from this region.


Mineral List

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

58 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

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

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Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

Neoproterozoic - Mesoproterozoic
541 - 1600 Ma



ID: 899947
garnet paragneiss 74441

Age: Proterozoic (541 - 1600 Ma)

Description: Garnet paragneiss; Northhampton Block, Pinjarra Orogen

Comments: high grade metamorphic rock; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: High grade metamorphic rock

Reference: Raymond, O.L., Liu, S., Gallagher, R., Zhang, W., Highet, L.M. Surface Geology of Australia 1:1 million scale dataset 2012 edition. Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia). [5]

Paleoproterozoic
1600 - 2500 Ma



ID: 3192729
Paleoproterozoic crystalline metamorphic rocks

Age: Proterozoic (1600 - 2500 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Northampton Complex

Lithology: Crystalline metamorphic rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License


Localities in this Region
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This page 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

Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Jacobson, M., Calderwood, M., Grguric, B. (2007): Pegmatites of Western Australia (2007)
Blockley, J.(2009): The Northampton Mineral Field: Western Australia's first mineral boom, Geological Society of Australia, Newsletter #40 (Sept 2009).
Downes, P.J., Deacon, G.L., Grguric, B.A., Bevan, A.W.R., Blockley, J., Verrall, M. (2017): Minerals of the Northampton Lead-Copper Field Western Australia, Australian Journal of Mineralogy, 18 (1), 35-49.

 
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