Log InRegister
Home PageAbout MindatThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusWho We AreContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatCorporate SponsorshipSponsor a PageSponsored PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Learning CenterWhat is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthInformation for EducatorsMindat Articles
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
Mining CompaniesStatisticsThe ElementsUsersBooks & MagazinesMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

Champion Copper Mine, Aniseed Valley, Nelson Region, South Island, New Zealandi
Regional Level Types
Champion Copper MineMine
Aniseed ValleyValley
Nelson RegionRegion
South IslandIsland
New ZealandCountry

This page is currently not sponsored. Click here to sponsor this page.
Lock Map
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 41° 22' 16'' South , 173° 17' 22'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -41.37134,173.28958
GeoHash:G#: rbehxk9de
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate
Nearest Settlements:
Richmond14,000 (2011)9.8km
Nelson59,200 (2014)11.2km
Brightwater1,677 (2011)14.5km
Wakefield1,663 (2011)20.2km
Mapua1,819 (2011)20.8km

An abandoned copper mine. The mine is part of a mineral belt stretching from D'Urville Island in the north, south-west to the Wairau River. Dun Mountain a few kilometres to the north-east is the type locality for dunite, while rodingite is named after the Roding River in the vicinity of the Champion mine and smelter.

[grid reference New Zealand Map Series 1, S20, 638168]

Railton et al. (1990) listed two Champion mines but they seem to be identical and the details have been merged.

"The various levels and shafts are easy to find. Care should be taken to keep well away from the South Shaft, which is open. Similarly, the various levels into the Champion and Doctor's Lodes on the west side of Champion Creek, plus the Creek Level below the tramway on the east side of the creek, are largely untimbered and most are exceedingly dangerous. The 46m North Shaft is now flooded, with water flowing from it and presents little danger.
On both sides of the creek are the remains of ore dumps, where the ore was sorted prior to its despatch to the smelter. Like ore from all the mines in the Mineral Belt, it was mainly composed of rich secondary copper minerals and native copper. However, unlike the other mines where the secondary ore soon gave way to discontinuous lenses of lean primary ore, comprising predominantly the iron sulphide pyrrhotite, in the Champion Mine secondary ore persisted to at least the lowest point in the mine. The reason for this can be explained in part by the greater maturity of the valley surrounding the mine. The limestone and the mafic igneous rocks downstream have restricted the downward cutting of Champion Creek and this is reflected by the gentle gradient of the creek at the mine. Consequently the primary ore was exposed for a greater length of time, allowing abundant secondary ores to form. It is also likely that the primary ore was slightly more copper-rich than elsewhere in the Mineral Belt.
"Champion Creek is also one of the best localities to observe rodingite dikes within serpentinite forming the creek bed upstream of the North Shaft." Railton et al. (1990)

Copper was discovered here by Fred Straford in 1881, while out goat shooting.

The Champion Copper Company was formed which discovered the rich Doctor's Lode. A shaft was sunk in 1884 to 150 feet, and another nearby in 1886. Tramways, a smelter and other infrastructure was erected, before the full extent (or lack thereof) of ore was investigated. In 1886, the mine closed, blamed on low copper prices, and a lack of capital.

The mine lay idle, and much of the smelter and tramway were destroyed by bushfires.

In 1903, the Maoriland Copper Company re-opened the mine, with shafts un-watered and being re-timbered including the North Shaft, a new tramway and smelter erected. The mine closed again in 1909, blamed on a poor access road, and insufficient ore reserves, although it was alleged the whole enterprise was a share speculating bubble.

The mine is part of a mineral belt stretching from D'Urville Island in the north, south-west to the Wairau River. Dun Mountain a few kilometres to the north-east is the type locality for dunite, while rodingite is named after the Roding River in the vicinity of the Champion mine and smelter.

Native copper, with copper sulphides and oxides are found near the surface, however at depth the lode turns into pyrrhotite, with only trace copper. The nearby United Mine was worked in conjunction with the Champion Mine. There were three lodes called Champion, United and Maitai. At Champion, copper was found in a 4 foot thick vein of soft serpentine, between walls of compact serpentine, with native copper 'lumps' with adhereing copper sulphides and oxides found near the hanging wall, and on the footwall masses of magnetite, pyrrhotite, and copper sulphides.

Access is by leaving State Highway 6 at Hope, which is just south of Richmond, and travelling the long winding Aniseed Valley Road to its terminus, with a caretaker's cottage, and dam. There is a fairly easy walk upstream to the smelter site with various metallic relics, and stone walls. It is quite civilised with a picnic table and toilet.

A steep walk uphill, in part across slippery mullock heaps goes to the Champion and United mines, showing access tunnels, and oxidised ore.

Malachite is said to be common on the dumps in the past, with native copper and other secondary copper species such as sapphire blue azurite, green
brochantite, deep red cuprite (often in the middle of rocks), sky blue chrysocolla, dull grey chalcocite etc by digging down. This came originally from the upper levels containing oxidised ore. Cupriferous pyrrhotite was found below the water level, and could feasibly also be on the dumps, as tiny irregular streaks and patches in shattered serpentine. The pyrrhotite frequently has a black coating of un-named iron sulphides. Serpentine from the lower levels was blackish, frequently with a bronze coating of un-named iron sulphides, also containing copper.

McGuinnessite was found on the dumps in early 1981, as bluish-green to very pale bluish-green crusts and spherical aggregates, on serpentine. Tiny opaque grains of magnetite or hematite were noted within the McGuinnessite.

Aragonite crystals are found in the Aniseed Valley, however the source (Stott, F.) provides no further location details. Grossular garnet has been found in the Roding River nearby to the mine.

Regions containing this locality

Australian Plate (Australia Plate)Tectonic Plate

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

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

21 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!

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

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

Formula: Cu3(SO4)(OH)4
Reference: Essence of Microscope, 2009
Formula: Cu2(OH)3Cl
Reference: Essence of Microscope, 2009
Formula: Cu4(SO4)(OH)6
Reference: Read, A.J. (1983) McGuinnessite from New Zealand; a new occurrence. Mineralogical Magazine, 48: 349, 457-459.
Formula: CuSO4 · 5H2O
Reference: Railton, G.T., Watters, W.A. (1990) Minerals of New Zealand. New Zealand Geological Survey Bulletin 104, 89 pages.
Formula: Cu2S
Reference: Essence of Microscope, 2009
Formula: CuFeS2
Reference: Essence of Microscope, 2009
Formula: Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Reference: Read, A.J. (1983) McGuinnessite from New Zealand; a new occurrence. Mineralogical Magazine, 48: 349, 457-459.
Formula: Cu19(SO4)(OH)32Cl4 · 3H2O
Reference: Essence of Microscope, 2009
Formula: Cu
Reference: Railton, G.L¹., Watters, W.A. (1990) Minerals of New Zealand. New Zealand Geological Survey Bulletin 104, 89 pages. (¹published as G.L. Railton but his initials should be G.T. not G.L. - Errata sheet inserted in publication). Read, A.J. (1983) McGuinnessite from New Zealand; a new occurrence. Mineralogical Magazine, 48: 349, 457-459.
Formula: Cu2O
Reference: Read, A.J. (1983) McGuinnessite from New Zealand; a new occurrence. Mineralogical Magazine, 48: 349, 457-459.
Cuprite var: Chalcotrichite
Formula: Cu2O
Reference: ko jansen
Formula: Cu4Al2(SO4)(OH)12 · 2H2O
Reference: Essence of Microscope, 2009
Formula: {Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Reference: Essence of Microscope, 2009
Formula: Fe2+2SiO4
Reference: Collection of RJ Martin
Formula: Ca3Al2(SiO4)3
Reference: Essence of Microscope, 2009
Formula: CaSO4 · 2H2O
Reference: Essence of Microscope 2012
Gypsum var: Selenite
Formula: CaSO4 · 2H2O
Reference: Collection of RJ Martin
Formula: Fe2O3
Reference: Essence of Microscope, 2009
Formula: Cu4(SO4)(OH)6 · 2H2O
Reference: Essence of Microscope, 2009
Formula: Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Reference: Read, A.J. (1983) McGuinnessite from New Zealand; a new occurrence. Mineralogical Magazine, 48: 349, 457-459.
Formula: (Mg,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2
Reference: Read, A.J. (1983) McGuinnessite from New Zealand; a new occurrence. Mineralogical Magazine, 48: 349, 457-459.
Reference: Essence of Microscope, 2009
Formula: Fe7S8
Reference: Read, A.J. (1983) McGuinnessite from New Zealand; a new occurrence. Mineralogical Magazine, 48: 349, 457-459.
Formula: (Ca,Na,☐)19(Al,Mg,Fe3+)13(☐,B,Al,Fe3+)5(Si2O7)4(SiO4)10(OH,F,O)10
Reference: Essence of Microscope, 2009

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 1 - Elements
Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Group 3 - Halides
Connellite3.DA.25Cu19(SO4)(OH)32Cl4 · 3H2O
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
var: Chalcotrichite4.AA.10Cu2O
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
Chalcanthite7.CB.20CuSO4 · 5H2O
Cyanotrichite7.DE.10Cu4Al2(SO4)(OH)12 · 2H2O
Gypsum7.CD.40CaSO4 · 2H2O
var: Selenite7.CD.40CaSO4 · 2H2O
Langite7.DD.10Cu4(SO4)(OH)6 · 2H2O
Group 9 - Silicates
Chrysocolla9.ED.20Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Metals, other than the Platinum Group
Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 2:1
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:1
Chalcanthite29.6.7.1CuSO4 · 5H2O
Gypsum29.6.3.1CaSO4 · 2H2O
(AB)m(XO4)pZq, where m:p>2:1
(AB)m(XO4)pZq·xH2O, where m:p > 6:1
Connellite31.1.1.1Cu19(SO4)(OH)32Cl4 · 3H2O
Cyanotrichite31.2.1.1Cu4Al2(SO4)(OH)12 · 2H2O
Langite31.4.3.1Cu4(SO4)(OH)6 · 2H2O
Group 51 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with all cations in octahedral [6] coordination
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in [6] and >[6] coordination
Group 58 - SOROSILICATES Insular, Mixed, Single, and Larger Tetrahedral Groups
Insular, Mixed, Single, and Larger Tetrahedral Groups with cations in [6] and higher coordination; single and double groups (n = 1, 2)
Group 74 - PHYLLOSILICATES Modulated Layers
Modulated Layers with joined strips
Chrysocolla74.3.2.1Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
var: Chalcotrichite
var: Selenite
-CaSO4 · 2H2O

List of minerals for each chemical element

H ChalcanthiteCuSO4 · 5H2O
H MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
H Mcguinnessite(Mg,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2
H ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
H BrochantiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6
H AntleriteCu3(SO4)(OH)4
H AtacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
H LangiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6 · 2H2O
H ConnelliteCu19(SO4)(OH)32Cl4 · 3H2O
H CyanotrichiteCu4Al2(SO4)(OH)12 · 2H2O
H Vesuvianite(Ca,Na,☐)19(Al,Mg,Fe3+)13(☐,B,Al,Fe3+)5(Si2O7)4(SiO4)10(OH,F,O)10
H Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
H GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
H Gypsum (var: Selenite)CaSO4 · 2H2O
B Vesuvianite(Ca,Na,☐)19(Al,Mg,Fe3+)13(☐,B,Al,Fe3+)5(Si2O7)4(SiO4)10(OH,F,O)10
C MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
C Mcguinnessite(Mg,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2
O ChalcanthiteCuSO4 · 5H2O
O MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
O CupriteCu2O
O Mcguinnessite(Mg,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2
O ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
O BrochantiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6
O AntleriteCu3(SO4)(OH)4
O AtacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
O LangiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6 · 2H2O
O ConnelliteCu19(SO4)(OH)32Cl4 · 3H2O
O CyanotrichiteCu4Al2(SO4)(OH)12 · 2H2O
O HematiteFe2O3
O GrossularCa3Al2(SiO4)3
O Vesuvianite(Ca,Na,☐)19(Al,Mg,Fe3+)13(☐,B,Al,Fe3+)5(Si2O7)4(SiO4)10(OH,F,O)10
O Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
O Cuprite (var: Chalcotrichite)Cu2O
O GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
O Gypsum (var: Selenite)CaSO4 · 2H2O
O FayaliteFe22+SiO4
F Vesuvianite(Ca,Na,☐)19(Al,Mg,Fe3+)13(☐,B,Al,Fe3+)5(Si2O7)4(SiO4)10(OH,F,O)10
Na Vesuvianite(Ca,Na,☐)19(Al,Mg,Fe3+)13(☐,B,Al,Fe3+)5(Si2O7)4(SiO4)10(OH,F,O)10
Mg Mcguinnessite(Mg,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2
Mg Vesuvianite(Ca,Na,☐)19(Al,Mg,Fe3+)13(☐,B,Al,Fe3+)5(Si2O7)4(SiO4)10(OH,F,O)10
Al ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Al CyanotrichiteCu4Al2(SO4)(OH)12 · 2H2O
Al GrossularCa3Al2(SiO4)3
Al Vesuvianite(Ca,Na,☐)19(Al,Mg,Fe3+)13(☐,B,Al,Fe3+)5(Si2O7)4(SiO4)10(OH,F,O)10
Al Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Si ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Si GrossularCa3Al2(SiO4)3
Si Vesuvianite(Ca,Na,☐)19(Al,Mg,Fe3+)13(☐,B,Al,Fe3+)5(Si2O7)4(SiO4)10(OH,F,O)10
Si Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Si FayaliteFe22+SiO4
S ChalcanthiteCuSO4 · 5H2O
S PyrrhotiteFe7S8
S BrochantiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6
S ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
S ChalcociteCu2S
S AntleriteCu3(SO4)(OH)4
S LangiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6 · 2H2O
S ConnelliteCu19(SO4)(OH)32Cl4 · 3H2O
S CyanotrichiteCu4Al2(SO4)(OH)12 · 2H2O
S GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
S Gypsum (var: Selenite)CaSO4 · 2H2O
Cl AtacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
Cl ConnelliteCu19(SO4)(OH)32Cl4 · 3H2O
Ca GrossularCa3Al2(SiO4)3
Ca Vesuvianite(Ca,Na,☐)19(Al,Mg,Fe3+)13(☐,B,Al,Fe3+)5(Si2O7)4(SiO4)10(OH,F,O)10
Ca Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Ca GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
Ca Gypsum (var: Selenite)CaSO4 · 2H2O
Fe PyrrhotiteFe7S8
Fe ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Fe HematiteFe2O3
Fe Vesuvianite(Ca,Na,☐)19(Al,Mg,Fe3+)13(☐,B,Al,Fe3+)5(Si2O7)4(SiO4)10(OH,F,O)10
Fe Epidote{Ca2}{Al2Fe3+}(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Fe FayaliteFe22+SiO4
Cu ChalcanthiteCuSO4 · 5H2O
Cu CopperCu
Cu MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
Cu CupriteCu2O
Cu Mcguinnessite(Mg,Cu)2(CO3)(OH)2
Cu ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Cu BrochantiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6
Cu ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Cu ChalcociteCu2S
Cu AntleriteCu3(SO4)(OH)4
Cu AtacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
Cu LangiteCu4(SO4)(OH)6 · 2H2O
Cu ConnelliteCu19(SO4)(OH)32Cl4 · 3H2O
Cu CyanotrichiteCu4Al2(SO4)(OH)12 · 2H2O
Cu Cuprite (var: Chalcotrichite)Cu2O

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

Jurassic - Triassic
145 - 251.902 Ma

ID: 3185705
Mesozoic sedimentary and volcanic rocks

Age: Mesozoic (145 - 251.902 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Torlesse Supergroup

Lithology: Mafic volcanic rocks; basalt; chert,greywacke,argillite,limestone

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]

Wuchiapingian - Artinskian
254.14 - 290.1 Ma

ID: 1326690
Glennie Formation (Livingstone Volcanics Group)

Age: Permian (254.14 - 290.1 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Glennie Formation

Description: Fine grained basalt.

Comments: Basement (Eastern Province) igneous rocks. Age based on absolute age calculated from stratigraphic age range

Lithology: Major:: {basalt}

Reference: Heron, D.W. . Geology Map of New Zealand 1:250 000. GNS Science Geological Map 1. [13]

Early Permian
272.95 - 298.9 Ma

ID: 1312112
Undifferentiated Dun Mountain Ultramafics and Livingstone Volcanics

Age: Cisuralian (272.95 - 298.9 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Dun Mountain Ultramafics; Livingstone Volcanics

Description: Variably serpentinised harzburgite, dunite, pyroxenite and gabbro; mafic volcanic rocks, dikes and gabbro.

Comments: Eastern Province (Dun Mountain-Maitai Terrane) Rocks

Lithology: Harzburgite, dunite, pyroxenite, gabbro, igneous rock, gabbro

Reference: Edbrooke, S.W., Heron, D.W., Forsyth, P.J., Jongens, R. (compilers). Geology Map of New Zealand 1:1 000 000. GNS Science Geological Map 2. [12]

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


Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
High Hopes, by Mike Johnston, Nikau Press, 1987.
Railton, G.L., Watters, W.A. (1990) Minerals of New Zealand, New Zealand Geological Survey Bulletin No. 104.
Essence of Microscope, 2009.
The Colonist newspaper (1883) The Champion Copper Lode Aniseed Valley, Vol. XXV1, issue 3951, 11 August 1883.
Marshall, P. (1925) The Geology of Nelson, The Cawthorn Institute Nelson New Zealand, Cawthorn Lectures, Vol.2.
Lauder, W.R. (1965) The Geology of Dun Mountain Nelson New Zealand, New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, Vol. 8:1, pp 3-34.
Stott, F. (pers. notes) Mineral Locations Golden Bay Area, Otago Rock and Minerals Club.
Grabham, F.V. (1974) The Champion Creek and Richmond Hill Area in Comparison, Rockhunter, September 1974.
Read, A.J. (1984) McGuinnessite from New Zealand a new occurrence, Mineralogical Magazine, Vol. 48, pp 457-459, September 1984.
Bell, J.M., Marshall, P., de Courcy Clarke, E. (1911) The Geology of the Dun Mountain Subdivision Nelson, New Zealand Geological Survey Branch, Bulletin No. 12.

External Links

Localities in this Region
Show map

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.
Mineral and/or Locality  
Mindat.org is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Public Relations by Blytheweigh.
Copyright © mindat.org and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2019, except where stated. Most political location boundaries are © OpenStreetMap contributors. Mindat.org relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: May 22, 2019 04:06:32 Page generated: April 8, 2019 16:05:58
Go to top of page