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Coronation Hill (Guratba), South Alligator River, West Arnhem Region, Northern Territory, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 13° 35' 12'' South , 132° 36' 27'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -13.58654,132.60738
GeoHash:G#: qvw69w9sx
Locality type:Hill
Köppen climate type:Aw : Tropical savanna, wet

PGM & Gold mineralization in hillside reef.

Originally a uranium mine.

Coronation Hill is found in the Pine Creek Inlier, a east north-east elongated area, 400 x 150 kilometres, south and east of Darwin.

From the lowest is the Mundogie Sandstone of quartzite and conglomerate of the Mount Partridge Group. Then the East Alligator Group of the Koolpin Formation of siliceous and carbonaceous pelites and stromatolitic dolomite. This is overlain by a volcaniclastic unit. In turn this is overlain by two distinct sedimentary breccias, a break, then the Coronation Sandstone which consists of hematite altered pyroclastic and boulder conglomerate overlain by brown medium and coarse sandstone. Next is the Pul Pul Rhyolite of the El Sherana Group, a break, then the Kurrundie sandstone, then the Plum Tree Volcanics of the Edith River Group, all overlain by a thick layer of the Kombolgie Sandstone. There are also two prominent intrusives of altered quartz-feldspar porphyry, and an altered quartz diorite and granodiorite as plugs in the deposit area.

The gold and PGM/PGE mineralisation occurs in a north north-west trending elongated zone. The ore body is 250 metres long, 50-100 metres wide, dips steeply east, and south plunging. The tabular ore body averages 10 metres in thickness, usually within 250 metres of the surface but to a maximum of 400 metres, forming in fracturing zones. One source states mineralisation occurs in narrow quartz-carbonate-chlorite veins forming a series of sub vertical bodies that cut across existing lithological boundaries.

Another source states mineralisation is gold-PGM-selenides associated with pure gold and electrum, lead selenides, platinum-antimony and other rare precious metal combinations without Sulphides. Secondly, as gold-PGM-selenides sulphides similar to the first type, but with replacive pyrite within the intrusives.

The Coronation Hill uranium mine accessed a small sedimentary breccia lode, from a small pit near the top of the hill, producing 26 000 tonnes of ore, and some gold as a by-product at 10.4 g/t. Uranium mineralisation is associated with rhyolitic rocks near the surface as autunite and torbernite in a zone of strong fracturing. United Uranium mined the deposit from 1957-1964.

Drilling for precious metals in the 1980's, also identified a high grade uranium-gold deposit 120 metres below the old pit. It is found in complex folding and within brecciated chloritic tuffaceous siltstone, carbonaceous siltstone, and brecciated quartz-feldspar porphyry.

The proposal for another mine (gold and precious metals) here hit two hurdles. Firstly, being sited in the Kakadu National Park, it was opposed by conservationists. Secondly, it was also opposed by the local aboriginal tribe, who (correctly)believed the countryside around the mine made you sick, and that the mine would release the creator of the region, named Bula, from underground causing a catastrophe. In 1991, the Australian Government banned mining at Coronation Hill.
Placers derived from in-situ deposits located at Coronation Hill.(Albertson ref.)

Originally a uranium mine.

Mineral List

20 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

1600 - 2500 Ma

ID: 870646
Coronation Sandstone

Age: Proterozoic (1600 - 2500 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Coronation Sandstone

Description: Trough cross-bedded, coarse to very coarse, moderately sorted quartz to sublithic sandstone; polymictic pebble to cobble conglomerate with lenses of poorly sorted medium to coarse lithic sandstone at base;

Comments: sedimentary siliciclastic; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Sedimentary siliciclastic

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]

1600 - 2500 Ma

ID: 3190953
Paleoproterozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Proterozoic (1600 - 2500 Ma)

Comments: Mcarthur Basin

Lithology: Sedimentary 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, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

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.


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Needham, R.S. & Stuart-Smith, P.G., (1987) Coronation Hill U-Au mine, South Alligator Valley, Northern Territory: an epigenetic sandstone-type deposit hosted by debris-flow conglomerate. BMR Journal of Australian Geology and Geophysics 10:2:121-131. Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics, Canberra.
Mernagh, T. P., Heinrich, C. A., Leckie, J. F., Carville, D. P., Gilbert, D. J., Valenta, R. K., & Wyborn, L. A. I. (1994). Chemistry of low-temperature hydrothermal gold, platinum, and palladium (+ or-uranium) mineralization at Coronation Hill, Northern Territory, Australia. Economic Geology, 89(5), 1053-1073.
Carville, D.P., Leckie, J.F., Moorhead, C.F., Rayner, J.G., Durbin, A.A. (1990): Coronation Hill Gold-Platinum-Palladium Deposits, Geology of Mineral deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea, AustIMM Melbourne (1990):14:1: pp759-762.
Albertson, G.A. (1991): Northern Territory National Park Mineralogy
Brunton, R.(1992): Mining Credibility: Coronation Hill and the anthropologists, Antropology Today, Royal Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (Apr 1992): 8:2: pp2-5
McKay, A.D., Miezitisy, Y. (2001): Australia's Uranium Resources Geology and Development of Deposits, AGSO (2001): Geoscience Australia Mineral Resource Report 1.
Cuzens, H. (2010) The Genesis and Spatial Distribution of Platinum-Group Elements in the Coronation Hill Deposit, Northern Territory, Australia. University of Western Australia.

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