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Three Springs Talc Mine, Three Springs, Three Springs Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 29° 30' 16'' South , 115° 51' 43'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -29.50463,115.86221
GeoHash:G#: qdf2hsb71
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:Csa : Hot-summer Mediterranean climate


Open-cut talc mine located 12 kilometres north-east of Three Springs.

The second largest talc mine in the world, the annual production exceeds 240,000 tonnes.

Discovered in the 1940s, major mining started in 1948. To September 1944, 28 tonnes of talc had been extracted from three wells. The mine was an underground operation owned by Universal Milling Company until 1959 producing 29 771 tonnes of talc. In the mid 1970's, Western Mining Corporation, Universal Milling, and Southern Gold Mines NL entered a joint venture. Western Mining Corporation bought out the other partners in 1987, and commenced open cut mining in 1989. Between 1961 to 1994, 2.6 Mt of talc was produced. In 2001 the mine was sold to Luzenac, and in 2011 to Imerys Talc.

Three Springs is a magnesium carbonate sub-horizontal orebody, trending north, with a maximum width of 200 metres, and thickness of a few metres to 30 metres. It produces some of the whitest and purest talc ores, although the talc varies in colour from white to dark green. This is governed by the amount of chlorite in the ore.

The talc occurs in the Noondine Chert, which is a member of the Coomberdale sub-group. The Noondine Chert is a silicified carbonate containing significant dolomite. The talc mineralisation extends 70 kilometres south from the Three Springs mine, containing a number of significant deposits. The talc is thought to have formed by hydrothermal fluids from dolerite dykes intruded into the carbonates.

The sequence from the surface is up to 6 metres thick red-brown soils, talc rubble, and discontinuous chert bands; stromatolitic talc 0-6 metres thick; compact massive talc 0-12 metres thick; then thin cross bedded quartzite, pebbly then talc horizon. This is intruded by north trending dolerite dykes. The talc units thin to the north grading into talc arenite, and orthoquartzite.





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Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.


Mineral List


3 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

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Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

'Chert'
Reference: Fetherston, J.M., Stocklmayer, S.M., Stocklmayer, V.C. (2013) Gemstones of Western Australia. Geological Survey of Western Australia, Mineral Resources Bulletin 25, 306 pages.
'Chlorite Group'
Reference: http://www.ferret.com.au/articles/6a/0c02e56a.asp; Fetherston, J.M., Stocklmayer, S.M., Stocklmayer, V.C. (2013) Gemstones of Western Australia. Geological Survey of Western Australia, Mineral Resources Bulletin 25, 306 pages.
Dolomite
Formula: CaMg(CO3)2
Reference: Abeysinghe, P.B. (1996) Talc, Pyrophyllite and Magnesite in Western Australia. Western Australia Geological Survey, Mineral Resources Bulletin 16, 129 pages.
Pyrite
Formula: FeS2
Reference: Abeysinghe, P.B. (1996) Talc, Pyrophyllite and Magnesite in Western Australia. Western Australia Geological Survey, Mineral Resources Bulletin 16, 129 pages.
'Quartzite'
Reference: Abeysinghe, P.B. (1996) Talc, Pyrophyllite and Magnesite in Western Australia. Western Australia Geological Survey, Mineral Resources Bulletin 16, 129 pages.
Talc
Formula: Mg3Si4O10(OH)2
Reference: Fetherston, J.M., Stocklmayer, S.M., Stocklmayer, V.C. (2013) Gemstones of Western Australia. Geological Survey of Western Australia, Mineral Resources Bulletin 25, 306 pages. http://www.ferret.com.au/articles/6a/0c02e56a.asp
'commodity:Talc'
Reference: From USGS MRDS database

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
'Pyrite'2.EB.05aFeS2
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
'Dolomite'5.AB.10CaMg(CO3)2
Group 9 - Silicates
'Talc'9.EC.05Mg3Si4O10(OH)2
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Chert'-
'Chlorite Group'-
'Quartzite'-

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Pyrite2.12.1.1FeS2
Group 14 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
AB(XO3)2
Dolomite14.2.1.1CaMg(CO3)2
Group 71 - PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
Sheets of 6-membered rings with 2:1 layers
Talc71.2.1.3Mg3Si4O10(OH)2
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Chert'-
'Chlorite Group'-
'Quartzite'-

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H TalcMg3Si4O10(OH)2
CCarbon
C DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
OOxygen
O DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
O TalcMg3Si4O10(OH)2
MgMagnesium
Mg DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
Mg TalcMg3Si4O10(OH)2
SiSilicon
Si TalcMg3Si4O10(OH)2
SSulfur
S PyriteFeS2
CaCalcium
Ca DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
FeIron
Fe PyriteFeS2

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References

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Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Fetherston, J.M., Stocklmayer, S.M., Stocklmayer, V.C. (2013) Gemstones of Western Australia. Geological Survey of Western Australia, Mineral Resources Bulletin 25, 306 pages.
Abeysinghe, P.B. (1996) Talc, Pyrophyllite and Magnesite in Western Australia. Western Australia Geological Survey, Mineral Resources Bulletin 16, 129 pages.

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