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Lightning Ridge (Moxom Well), Braeside Station, Gregory Ranges District, East Pilbara Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 21° 5' 50'' South , 121° 2' 56'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -21.09738,121.04911
GeoHash:G#: qsnpfx36b
Locality type:Ridge
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

Located 11 km north east of Braeside Station.
Reference: Lead Zinc and Silver Deposits of Western Australia by K.M. Ferguson, published by the GSWA 1999.

The Braeside lead field is a collection of historic mines, with Lightning Ridge (Moxon Well) merely accounting for one of these. They are located in the northern Gregory Ranges, 129 kilometres east of Marble Bar. The mines extend along the ranges in a south south-easterly direction for about 30 kilometres.

The Braeside name is from the pastoral property established in 1895. Lead mineralisation was first discovered in 1901, but the remote nature of the location prevented extensive mining.

Blatchford in 1925 first described the lead mineralisation in detail, and the first geological maps of the area were produced in 1938 by K.J. Finucane.

The main mining period was between 1947-1959, with total production from 1925 to 1959 being 3217.6t of lead, 25.5t of zinc, and 902.4kg of silver.

Lead mineralisation on the field is mostly contained in quartz vein systems that cuts the Kylena Basalt, and overlying Maddina Basalt formations of the Fortescue Group. This veining is mostly north north-west trending, steeply east dipping faults dissecting the area.

The mineralisation is dated 2700-2740Ma or Neoarchaean, and is thought to have developed at the same time as the surrounding Hamersley Basin. The veins developed deep within the base metal zone of a epithermal and low sulphide groundwater geothermal system.

The most common species across all the mines is massive galena ;cerussite as grey masses, colourless crystals or aggregates; colourless granular aggregate anglesite; various manganese oxides in association with hydrozincite and descloizite; iron oxides; plattnerite as brown to black masses associated with galena and cerussite.

The Lightning Ridge (Moxom Well) Mine (Pb, Zn, Cu, Ag, V)is 10 kilometres north of Devons Cut. The mineralisation is in a quartz filled subvertical fault covering 1.07 kilometres, in basalt and andesite of the Kylena Formation. Mining has been minimal. Pyrite, sphalerite, acanthite, chalcocite, djurleite, chalcopyrite, chrysocolla, covellite, jarosite, plumbojarosite, malachite, rosasite, pyromorphite, vanadanite, have been found here.

Three different assemblages of secondary species have been identified for the mines in the area:
1. Galena, cerussite, anglesite, linarite, caledonite, brochanite, malachite, chalcocite.
2 Hemimorphite, hydrozincite, rosasite, smithsonite, otavite, cinnabar.
3 Vanadinite, descloizite, mottramite, pyromorphite, coronadite.

The Western Australian Museum has 401 mineral specimens from the Braeside field. A total of 264 of these come from the late Blair Gartrell collection, generously donated to the museum by Mark Creasy in 2003. Others come from in part the E.S Simpson collection, a geologist who travelled widely in Western Australia, describing mine sites in the early part of the 20th Century.

The Mindat co-ordinates mark the ridge.

Mineral List

20 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

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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

2500 - 2800 Ma

ID: 722897
Kylena Formation

Age: Neoarchean (2500 - 2800 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Kylena Formation

Description: Basalt, andesite, dacite, high-Mg basalt, rhyolite; basaltic agglomerate; dolerite; grey carbonate rock with microbial laminations and stromatolites; sandstone; pillow breccia; tuff, limestone, conglomerate

Comments: igneous felsic volcanic; igneous mafic volcanic; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Igneous felsic volcanic; igneous mafic volcanic

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]

3200 - 3600 Ma

ID: 3192463
Archean volcanic and intrusive rocks

Age: Paleoarchean (3200 - 3600 Ma)

Comments: Pilbara Craton

Lithology: Felsic volcanic 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

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Hancock, E.A., Downes, P.J. Bevan, A.W.R. (2007): Secondary Minerals from the Braeside Lead Field Pilbara Western Australia, Australian Journal of Mineralogy (Dec 2007):13(2):55-63

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