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Malbunka Copper Mine (Namatjira's Copper Prospect; Areyonga Copper Deposit), Areyonga, Gardiner Range, MacDonnell Region, Northern Territory, Australiai
Regional Level Types
Malbunka Copper Mine (Namatjira's Copper Prospect; Areyonga Copper Deposit)Mine
Areyonga- not defined -
Gardiner RangeMountain Range
MacDonnell RegionRegion
Northern TerritoryTerritory
AustraliaCountry

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Key
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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 24° 7' 57'' South , 132° 22' 47'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -24.13250,132.38000
GeoHash:G#: qgwnsqu1v
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate


The Malbunka Copper Mine (MCM)is operated by Dehne McLaughlin via an agreement under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 and a Mineral Lease granted by the Northern Territory Government (ML 29494). Dehne is a mineral collector with a wide ranging professional background, including Geology and operates the mine project specifically for mineral specimen recovery no different to the Rogerly fluorite mine in England. A land rental and royalty is paid to the land owners and an annual administration fee to the Central Land Council. Exploration and mining occurs underground. A decline started in 2009 in the underground workings, seen in attached photos, shows where miningno mheight 0 has delineated high quality specimens including crystalline lustrous blue azurite nodules, as well as the more location specific azurite "suns" for which this mine is noted.

The previous mine name up to 2005 was "Namajtira prospect" (near Areyonga or Utju). However, this name was changed by the Western Aranda Malbunka clan and their relevant djungaiyi/kurtungkula (ie "managers") in 2005. The Malbunka land owning clan was never consulted by the initial miners or government when the name was first assigned to the site.

Under Aboriginal law, no person has the right to impose a clan name from a separate clan area over other clan areas, hence respect for Aboriginal law via the name change was fundamental to commencing the mineral specimen exploration and mining project.

In addition to azurite suns and malachite found in the near pure kaolinite lens, minor azurite, malachite and atacamite is found in brown arkosic sandstone. A siliceous and atacamite rich alteration rim surrounds the kaolin lens containing the azurite. Sulfides and copper oxides were found in a cut 200m behind hill. Research is ongoing on the genesis of this unusual mineralising event and includes isotopic, trace element analysis, clay type analysis and solid grain extraction from the clays wherein micro crystals of tourmaline are found.

Located 15 km south-east of Areyonga (Utju) and 260 km west of Alice Springs.

dehne.mclaughlin@bigpond.com

Regions containing this locality

Australian Plate (Australia Plate)Tectonic Plate
Central Australian Element, AustraliaCraton
Warakurna Large Igneous Province, Western Australia, AustraliaGeologic Province
Arunta Orogen, AustraliaOrogen
Amadeus Basin, AustraliaBasin
Warumpi Province, Arunta Orogen, AustraliaGeologic Province

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Commodity List

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


Mineral List


9 valid minerals.

Detailed Mineral List:

Atacamite
Formula: Cu2(OH)3Cl
Reference: Dehne McLaughlin and Ray Grant (2012) Azurite Suns from the Malbunka Copper Mine Northern Territory Australia. Rocks & Minerals 87:490-600
Azurite
Formula: Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Reference: Dehne McLaughlin and Ray Grant (2012) Azurite Suns from the Malbunka Copper Mine Northern Territory Australia. Rocks & Minerals 87: 490-600; Melchiorre, E.B., McLaughlin, D., Bottrill, R. & Hight, J. (2016): Primary diagenetic copper carbonate at the Malbunka copper deposit, Amadeus Basin, Northern Territory, Australia. Ore Geology Reviews 82, 170-180.
Chalcocite
Formula: Cu2S
Reference: Dehne McLaughlin and Ray Grant (2012) Azurite Suns from the Malbunka Copper Mine Northern Territory Australia. Rocks & Minerals 87:490-600
Chrysocolla
Formula: Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Description: Very small amounts present.
Reference: Dehne McLaughlin and Ray Grant (2012) Azurite Suns from the Malbunka Copper Mine Northern Territory Australia. Rocks & Minerals 87:490-600
Covellite
Formula: CuS
Reference: Dehne McLaughlin and Ray Grant (2012) Azurite Suns from the Malbunka Copper Mine Northern Territory Australia. Rocks & Minerals 87:490-600
Cuprite
Formula: Cu2O
Description: Very small amounts present, only usually visable under magnification.
Reference: Mark Willoughby personal collection, recieved from original lease holder, G. Robertson.
Digenite
Formula: Cu9S5
Reference: Dehne McLaughlin and Ray Grant (2012) Azurite Suns from the Malbunka Copper Mine Northern Territory Australia. Rocks & Minerals 87:490-600
Kaolinite
Formula: Al2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Reference: Dehne McLaughlin and Ray Grant (2012) Azurite Suns from the Malbunka Copper Mine Northern Territory Australia. Rocks & Minerals 87:490-600
Malachite
Formula: Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Reference: Dehne McLaughlin and Ray Grant (2012) Azurite Suns from the Malbunka Copper Mine Northern Territory Australia. Rocks & Minerals 87: 490-600; Melchiorre, E.B., McLaughlin, D., Bottrill, R. & Hight, J. (2016): Primary diagenetic copper carbonate at the Malbunka copper deposit, Amadeus Basin, Northern Territory, Australia. Ore Geology Reviews 82, 170-180.
'Tourmaline'
Formula: A(D3)G6(T6O18)(BO3)3X3Z
Reference: Melchiorre, E.B., McLaughlin, D., Bottrill, R. & Hight, J. (2016): Primary diagenetic copper carbonate at the Malbunka copper deposit, Amadeus Basin, Northern Territory, Australia. Ore Geology Reviews 82, 170-180.

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Chalcocite2.BA.05Cu2S
Covellite2.CA.05aCuS
Digenite2.BA.10Cu9S5
Group 3 - Halides
Atacamite3.DA.10aCu2(OH)3Cl
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Cuprite4.AA.10Cu2O
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Azurite5.BA.05Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Malachite5.BA.10Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Group 9 - Silicates
Chrysocolla9.ED.20Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Kaolinite9.ED.05Al2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Tourmaline'-A(D3)G6(T6O18)(BO3)3X3Z

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 2:1
Chalcocite2.4.7.1Cu2S
Digenite2.4.7.3Cu9S5
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
Covellite2.8.12.1CuS
Group 4 - SIMPLE OXIDES
A2X
Cuprite4.1.1.1Cu2O
Group 10 - OXYHALIDES AND HYDROXYHALIDES
A2(O,OH)3Xq
Atacamite10.1.1.1Cu2(OH)3Cl
Group 16a - ANHYDROUS CARBONATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
Azurite16a.2.1.1Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Malachite16a.3.1.1Cu2(CO3)(OH)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.
Kaolinite-Al2(Si2O5)(OH)4
'Tourmaline'-A(D3)G6(T6O18)(BO3)3X3Z

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
H MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
H AtacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
H KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
H ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
BBoron
B TourmalineA(D3)G6(T6O18)(BO3)3X3Z
CCarbon
C AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
C MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
OOxygen
O AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
O MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
O AtacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
O KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
O TourmalineA(D3)G6(T6O18)(BO3)3X3Z
O CupriteCu2O
O ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
AlAluminium
Al KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Al ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
SiSilicon
Si KaoliniteAl2(Si2O5)(OH)4
Si ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
SSulfur
S ChalcociteCu2S
S DigeniteCu9S5
S CovelliteCuS
ClChlorine
Cl AtacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
CuCopper
Cu AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Cu MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
Cu ChalcociteCu2S
Cu AtacamiteCu2(OH)3Cl
Cu DigeniteCu9S5
Cu CovelliteCuS
Cu CupriteCu2O
Cu ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O

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

Ordovician - Neoproterozoic
443.8 - 1000 Ma



ID: 3189577
Precambrian-Phanerozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Neoproterozoic to Ordovician (443.8 - 1000 Ma)

Comments: Amadeus Basin; Amadeus Basin

Lithology: Siltstone,conglomerate,dolomite,evaporite,limestone,shale,sandstone

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]

Cambrian - Neoproterozoic
485.4 - 1000 Ma



ID: 909238
Pertaoorrta Group

Age: Neoproterozoic to Cambrian (485.4 - 1000 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Pertaoorrta Group

Description: Sandstone, siltstone, shale, limestone, dolomite, some conglomerate. Marine fossils.

Comments: sedimentary siliciclastic; sedimentary carbonate; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Sedimentary siliciclastic; sedimentary carbonate

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]

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)
Dehne McLaughlin, Azurite At The Malbunka Copper Mine, Central Australia, 2009, in Australian and New Zealand Mineral Collector Magazine, Issue No. 8. - Abstract from a talk given by Dehne at the 2008 Joint Mineralogical Societies of Australasia 31st Annual Seminar, Zeehan.
Dehne McLaughlin and Ray Grant (2012): Azurite Suns from the Malbunka Copper Mine Northern Territory Australia. Rocks & Minerals 87: 490-600.
Melchiorre, E.B., McLaughlin, D., Bottrill, R. & Hight, J. (2016): Primary diagenetic copper carbonate at the Malbunka copper deposit, Amadeus Basin, Northern Territory, Australia. Ore Geology Reviews 82, 170-180.

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