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Kamaishi mine, Kamaishi City, Iwate Prefecture, Tohoku Region, Honshu Island, Japan

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 39° 17' 60'' North , 141° 40' 60'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 39.30000,141.68333

An abandoned iron-copper mine at least 500 meters deep. Contact metasomatic (skarn) ores in Permian limestone around a Cretaceous dioritic granite intrusion. Worked for iron (magnetite orebodies) and copper-gold-silver (chalcopyrite-cubanite orebodies). At least 15 orebodies, including Shinyama, Nippo, Sahinai and Rasa-Omine orebodies. Shinyama is the largest Fe skarn orebody in Japan, 400m long, 80m wide, 550m high. Magnetite-garnet skarns were worked for iron already during the Tokugawa shogunate era, with Japan's first modern blast furnace built here in 1857 (late Edo era). Peak production was in the 1970s. 1958 production: 1.04 million tons ore averaging 28.6% Fe (the highest Fe ore production in Japan). Mine now closed, but there is commercial production of bottled mineral water.

Since the 1990s, the underground mine workings in the northern portion of this mine have been used for estimating long-term stability of geological, hydrogeological, and physicochemical conditions in the rock massif and for studying the migration of natural radionuclides in fractured rocks.

Mineral List

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

76 valid minerals. 1 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

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

Permian - Carboniferous
252.17 - 358.9 Ma
Carboniferous-Permian sedimentary rocks

Age: Paleozoic (252.17 - 358.9 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary rocks

Reference: Geological Survey of Canada. Generalized geological map of the world and linked databases. doi:10.4095/195142. Open File 2915d. [18]

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

Localities in this Region


This page contains all mineral locality references listed on 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 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.


- Rocks & Minerals: 22: 320.
- Geological Survey of Japan (1960).
Kaneda, H., Shoji, T., and Imai, H., (1978) Kamaishi Mine, Iwate Prefecture, in Imai, H., ed., Geological Studies on the Mineral Deposits in Japan and East Asia: University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, p. 183-190.
山岡一雄. (1982). 釜石鉱山日ぽう鉱床産自然金と Fe‐Co‐Ni‐As‐S 系鉱物について. 鉱山地質, 32(172), 95-106.
Etsuo Uchida (1986) Relation between Zonal Arrangements of Skarns and Temperatures of Formation at the Kamaishi Mine, Northeastern Japan. Mining Geology, 36(3),195-208.
- Shiga, Y. (1987): Behavior of iron, nickel, cobalt and sulfur during serpentinization, with reference to Hayachine ultramafic rocks of the Kamaishi mining district, northeastern Japan. Canadian Mineralogist: 25: 611-624.
- Anthony, Bideaux, Bladh, Nichols (1990): "Handbook of Mineralogy", Vol. 1.
- Laverov, N.P., Petrov, V.A., Poluektov, V.V., Nasimov, R.M., Hammer, J., Burmistrov, A.A., and Shchukin, S.I. (2008): The Antei Uranium Deposit: A Natural Analogue of an SNF Repository and an Underground Geodynamic Laboratory in Granite. Geology of Ore Deposits 50(5), 339-361.

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