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Tabba Tabba pegmatite (Tabba Tabba Tantalum Mine), Wallareenya Station, Port Hedland Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 20° 40' 0'' South , 118° 55' 16'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -20.66671,118.92121
GeoHash:G#: qskd6jez9
Locality type:Pegmatite
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate


Specimens of well formed white beryl crystals have come from here. It is also the type locality for hexagonal tantalite oxide species simpsonite, discovered in 1934, named after famous Western Australian geologist E.S. Simpson.

The pegmatite is not easily accessed located beyond the station homestead behind a locked gate. The construction of a number of iron ore railway lines to the coast, limits travel east-west along back roads. It could possibly be found by heading a long distance south-west along station tracks from the Strelley pegmatite, but getting lost remains a strong chance. The pegmatite is fifteen kilometres north-east of the station homestead.

Mining at the pegmatites has divided it into a number of sections including the South Workings; the Central, Simpsonite Workings, or Tabba Tabba Tin Mine; the North Workings; the cassiterite bearing pegmatite being a southerly offshoot of the main tantalite pegmatite; the Crawford tantalite prospect the location of which is unclear and has been given as 543 metres from the South Workings or 1.6 kilometres north-west of the Simpsonite Workings, or 1.6 kilometres north north-east of the South Workings; MC 116 north of the North Workings; and Tom Molloy's pegmatite 4.83 kilometres south-west of the Wallareenya Station Homestead.

Alluvial cassiterite was mined from around 1919 to 1928. E.S. Simpson visited the location in 1927 and noted cassiterite mining on Allan Crawford's pegmatite by Consolidated Mines Selection Company, and further mining elsewhere on the pegmatite by Thelemann and Young/Moulden for Tantalite Ltd. The last two licences merged in 1933, and mining continued until early 1943. The leases were then taken over by the Commonwealth Government as part of its war-time effort, but no mining took place. After the war the leases were returned to Tantalite Ltd, but they had run out of funds so sold it to Northwest Tantalum Ltd but again no mining took place, and the lease was relinquished in 1957. Ownership passed to J.A. Johnson and Sons around 1960, Avela Pty Ltd 1967, Goldrim Mining 1968. No mining took place through this entire period. In 1998, alluvial tantalite and cassiterite was gathered by tribute miners for Sons of Gwalia.

The Tabba Tabba pegmatites have intruded into a narrow north-east to south-west trending belt of metamorphosed gabbro sandwiched into metamorphosed Warrawoona Group sediments.

The Main tantalite pegmatite is 610 metres long and 15-55 metres wide, and dips steeply to the north-east. The pegmatites contains several quartz cores; around the cores is a thin zone of abundant white euhedral beryl that projects into the quartz; outside this a unit of mostly mined out fine grained mixed albite, tantalite, simpsonite and a greenish granular muscovite; then a layer fine grained to coarse grained albite-muscovite-quartz with spessartine, the last 3 layers reaching a maximum total width of 107 centimetres. External to this is an intermediate zone of quartz-microcline-plagioclase-muscovite; and a wall zone of microcline-quartz-plagioclase.

Species found at the Main pegmatite and its cassiterite rich southerly offshoot are albite, white tabular doubly terminated beryl crystals, cassiterite, lithian muscovite, magnetite, microcline, microlite, ball muscovite, quartz, simpsonite up to 1cm, spessartine and tantalite.

The Crawford prospect pegmatite intrudes into amphibolite, and is 31 metres long by 4.6 metres wide, dipping 45 degrees to the east. The hanging wall is quartz and the footwall is weathered albite-muscovite-quartz with spessartine, magnetite, tantalite, microlite and cassiterite.

In 2015, Pilbara Minerals Limited decide to mine the site constructing a processing plant with a large pit planned. Considering it is type locality status for simpsonite, named after a locally famous government geologist, and has seen fine white beryl specimens and other species, this location is a prime candidate for a mineral heritage law, which bans further destructive large scale mining. It is ironic that historic mining methods allowed us to gain access to its treasures, while modern methods completely destroy it. More annoying, is Pilbara Minerals a year later after flattening the site state they are having problems with the processing plant, and are suspending operations. In 2017 the plant is sold, and removed to Mount Mulgine elsewhere in the state, meaning the destruction of the pegmatite had been completely pointless. The pictures on Mindat by Sue and Gert represent some of the last people to visit the location before it was altered.


Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List


13 valid minerals. 1 (TL) - type locality of 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!

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

Albite
Formula: Na(AlSi3O8)
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
'Albite-Anorthite Series'
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
'Amphibolite'
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
Beryl
Formula: Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Reference: Andrew Tuma Collection (ex Ausrox). Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
Cassiterite
Formula: SnO2
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
'Chert'
Reference: Fetherston, J.M. (2004), Tantalum in Western Australia, Mineral Resources Bulletin 22, GSWA, 02 Apr 2004
Columbite-(Mn)
Formula: (Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)2O6
Reference: Fetherston, J.M. (2004), Tantalum in Western Australia, Mineral Resources Bulletin 22, GSWA, 02 Apr 2004
'Gabbro'
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
'Granite'
Reference: Fetherston, J.M. (2004), Tantalum in Western Australia, Mineral Resources Bulletin 22, GSWA, 02 Apr 2004
Ilmenite
Formula: Fe2+TiO3
Reference: Simpson, E.S. (1948), Minerals of Western Australia, Vol, 3, p 252
'Lepidolite'
Reference: Simpson, E.S. (1948), Minerals of Western Australia, Vol 3, p213
Magnetite
Formula: Fe2+Fe3+2O4
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
Microcline
Formula: K(AlSi3O8)
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
'Microlite Group'
Formula: A2-mTa2X6-wZ-n
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
Muscovite
Formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
'Pegmatite'
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia. Simpson, E.S. (1948), Minerals of Western Australia, Vol 3, p213.
Riebeckite
Formula: ◻[Na2][Fe2+3Fe3+2]Si8O22(OH)2
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
Simpsonite (TL)
Formula: Al4(Ta,Nb)3O13(OH,F)
Reference: Mineralogical Magazine 1963 33 : 458-466. Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
Spessartine
Formula: Mn2+3Al2(SiO4)3
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
'Tantalite'
Formula: (Mn,Fe)(Ta,Nb)2O6
Reference: Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
Tantalite-(Mn)
Formula: MnTa2O6
Reference: Fetherston, J.M. (2004), Tantalum in Western Australia, Mineral Resources Bulletin 22, GSWA, 02 Apr 2004
'Tapiolite'
Formula: (Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)2O6
Reference: On Tapiolite in the Pilbara Goldfield, Western Australia; E.S. Simpson; Mineralogical Magazine; June 1917, pp107-121

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
'Cassiterite'4.DB.05SnO2
'Columbite-(Mn)'4.DB.35(Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)2O6
'Ilmenite'4.CB.05Fe2+TiO3
'Magnetite'4.BB.05Fe2+Fe3+2O4
'Microlite Group'4.00.A2-mTa2X6-wZ-n
'Quartz'4.DA.05SiO2
'Simpsonite' (TL)4.DC.10Al4(Ta,Nb)3O13(OH,F)
'Tantalite-(Mn)'4.DB.35MnTa2O6
Group 9 - Silicates
'Albite'9.FA.35Na(AlSi3O8)
'Beryl'9.CJ.05Be3Al2(Si6O18)
'Microcline'9.FA.30K(AlSi3O8)
'Muscovite'9.EC.15KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
'Riebeckite'9.DE.25◻[Na2][Fe2+3Fe3+2]Si8O22(OH)2
'Spessartine'9.AD.25Mn2+3Al2(SiO4)3
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Albite-Anorthite Series'-
'Amphibolite'-
'Chert'-
'Gabbro'-
'Granite'-
'Lepidolite'-
'Pegmatite'-
'Tantalite'-(Mn,Fe)(Ta,Nb)2O6
'Tapiolite'-(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)2O6

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 4 - SIMPLE OXIDES
A2X3
Ilmenite4.3.5.1Fe2+TiO3
AX2
Cassiterite4.4.1.5SnO2
Group 7 - MULTIPLE OXIDES
AB2X4
Magnetite7.2.2.3Fe2+Fe3+2O4
Group 8 - MULTIPLE OXIDES CONTAINING NIOBIUM,TANTALUM OR TITANIUM
A2B2O6(O,OH,F)
'Microlite Group'8.2.2.1A2-mTa2X6-wZ-n
AB2O6
Columbite-(Mn)8.3.2.4(Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)2O6
Tantalite-(Mn)8.3.2.3MnTa2O6
Miscellaneous
Simpsonite (TL)8.7.5.1Al4(Ta,Nb)3O13(OH,F)
Group 51 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in [6] and >[6] coordination
Spessartine51.4.3a.3Mn2+3Al2(SiO4)3
Group 61 - CYCLOSILICATES Six-Membered Rings
Six-Membered Rings with [Si6O18] rings; possible (OH) and Al substitution
Beryl61.1.1.1Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Group 71 - PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
Sheets of 6-membered rings with 2:1 layers
Muscovite71.2.2a.1KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Quartz75.1.3.1SiO2
Group 76 - TECTOSILICATES Al-Si Framework
Al-Si Framework with Al-Si frameworks
Albite76.1.3.1Na(AlSi3O8)
Microcline76.1.1.5K(AlSi3O8)
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Albite-Anorthite Series'-
'Amphibolite'-
'Chert'-
'Gabbro'-
'Granite'-
'Lepidolite'-
'Pegmatite'-
Riebeckite-◻[Na2][Fe2+3Fe3+2]Si8O22(OH)2
'Tantalite'-(Mn,Fe)(Ta,Nb)2O6
'Tapiolite'-(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)2O6

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
H Riebeckite◻[Na2][Fe32+Fe23+]Si8O22(OH)2
H SimpsoniteAl4(Ta,Nb)3O13(OH,F)
BeBeryllium
Be BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
OOxygen
O AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
O BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
O CassiteriteSnO2
O Columbite-(Mn)(Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)2O6
O IlmeniteFe2+TiO3
O MagnetiteFe2+Fe23+O4
O MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
O MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O QuartzSiO2
O Riebeckite◻[Na2][Fe32+Fe23+]Si8O22(OH)2
O SimpsoniteAl4(Ta,Nb)3O13(OH,F)
O SpessartineMn32+Al2(SiO4)3
O Tantalite(Mn,Fe)(Ta,Nb)2O6
O Tantalite-(Mn)MnTa2O6
O Tapiolite(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)2O6
NaSodium
Na AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Na Riebeckite◻[Na2][Fe32+Fe23+]Si8O22(OH)2
AlAluminium
Al AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Al BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
Al MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
Al MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Al SimpsoniteAl4(Ta,Nb)3O13(OH,F)
Al SpessartineMn32+Al2(SiO4)3
SiSilicon
Si AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Si BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
Si MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
Si MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si QuartzSiO2
Si Riebeckite◻[Na2][Fe32+Fe23+]Si8O22(OH)2
Si SpessartineMn32+Al2(SiO4)3
KPotassium
K MicroclineK(AlSi3O8)
K MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
TiTitanium
Ti IlmeniteFe2+TiO3
MnManganese
Mn Columbite-(Mn)(Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)2O6
Mn SpessartineMn32+Al2(SiO4)3
Mn Tantalite(Mn,Fe)(Ta,Nb)2O6
Mn Tantalite-(Mn)MnTa2O6
Mn Tapiolite(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)2O6
FeIron
Fe Columbite-(Mn)(Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)2O6
Fe IlmeniteFe2+TiO3
Fe MagnetiteFe2+Fe23+O4
Fe Riebeckite◻[Na2][Fe32+Fe23+]Si8O22(OH)2
Fe Tantalite(Mn,Fe)(Ta,Nb)2O6
Fe Tapiolite(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)2O6
NbNiobium
Nb Columbite-(Mn)(Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)2O6
Nb Tantalite(Mn,Fe)(Ta,Nb)2O6
Nb Tapiolite(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)2O6
SnTin
Sn CassiteriteSnO2
TaTantalum
Ta Columbite-(Mn)(Mn,Fe)(Nb,Ta)2O6
Ta Microlite GroupA2-mTa2X6-wZ-n
Ta SimpsoniteAl4(Ta,Nb)3O13(OH,F)
Ta Tantalite(Mn,Fe)(Ta,Nb)2O6
Ta Tantalite-(Mn)MnTa2O6
Ta Tapiolite(Fe,Mn)(Ta,Nb)2O6

Geochronology

Mineralization age: Mesoarchean : 2974 ± 59 Ma to 2877 ± 20 Ma

Important note: This table is based only on rock and mineral ages recorded below and is not necessarily a complete representation of the geochronology, but does give an indication of possible mineralization events relevant to this locality. As more age information is added this table may expand in the future. A break in the table simply indicates a lack of data entered here, not necessarily a break in the geologic sequence. Grey background entries are from different, related, localities.

Geologic TimeRocks, Minerals and Events
Precambrian
 Archean
  Mesoarchean
ⓘ Cassiterite (youngest age)2877 ± 20 Ma
ⓘ Cassiterite (oldest age)2974 ± 59 Ma

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

Archean
2500 - 4000 Ma



ID: 870305
metamorphosed mafic rocks 74327

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Description: Metamorphosed mafic rocks; metabasalt, metagabbro, metadolerite, amphibolite, mafic schist; minor metamorphosed ultramafic rocks and metasedimentary rocks; amphibolite schist; quartz-sericite schist, volcaniclastic rocks, local granitic dykes and veins

Comments: meta-igneous mafic; meta-igneous ultramafic; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Meta-igneous mafic; meta-igneous ultramafic

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]

Mesoarchean - Paleoarchean
2800 - 3600 Ma



ID: 3186968
Archean intrusive rocks

Age: Archean (2800 - 3600 Ma)

Comments: Pilbara Craton

Lithology: Intrusive igneous 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

References

Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia.
Pilbara Minerals Ltd (2015) Mining Underway at Tabba Tabba Tantalum Project as Pilbara Closes in on First Commercial Production (ASX release), 29 October 2015.

External Links



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