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Wonder Well, Riverina Station, Menzies Shire, Western Australia, Australiai
Regional Level Types
Wonder WellWell
Riverina Station- not defined -
Menzies ShireShire
Western AustraliaState

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Lock Map
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 29° 41' 49'' South , 120° 34' 32'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -29.69722,120.57583
GeoHash:G#: qdtxpcb9h
Locality type:Well
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

Emeralds are found associated with a series of pegmatite dykes concordantly emplaced along schistosity planes within ultramafic rocks. The host schists formed through K metasomatism during intrusion of the pegmatite. Beryls occur in the pegmatite, but are more abundant in the microschist.
Locality description: 44 km west of the township of Menzies in the Mining District of Ularring.
Latitude: -29.69739
Longitude: 120.576
Coordinates: 265474mE, 6712287mN.
References: Minedex Database, Geological Survey of Western Australia, 2006.

Local folklore states the deposit was discovered by workers grading the dirt road north of Riverina Station in 1974. Irregular mining has taken place since then, but specimens are rarely seen. The reason could be the small size of the crystals found. Low quality emeralds are relatively common in Western Australia, where beryl bearing pegmatites have intruded chromium and vanadium bearing ultramafic greenstone.

From 1974 to 1980, Norm and Wilma MacKay, Frank Trask, and Peter Goodeve as partners, reputedly recovering 48 165 carats of emeralds. David Vaughan and Luigi Madonini, mined the deposit for one year in the late 1970's under tribute, but could not make the enterprise financially viable. Roger Lindsay took over the lease in 1983, and was joined by mining partner Donald North in 1994. By 2001 they had recovered 14 409 grams of facet grade emerald. In 2011 the mine was still active, and signage/road bunds would indicate the casual fossicker is not welcome, although organised groups have been allowed into the mine.

The deposit is a series of narrow pegmatites showing albite-oligoclase with minor biotite and plagioclase, and albite-oligoclase- quartz with minor biotite, with phlogopite schists along the contact. The schist near the pegmatites is tremolite/actinolite-phlogopite-biotite.

Emeralds found along the contact zone are medium green, while those within the pegmatite are blue-green, yellow-green or green. Some gem quality phenakite crystals have also been found at the mine.

The emphasis seems to be to produce material for cut stone, when the deposit would also lend itself to specimen collections. More material needs to be seen on the specimen collecting market for this site.

Regions containing this locality

Australian Plate (Australia Plate)Tectonic Plate
West Australian Element, Western Australia, AustraliaCraton
Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, AustraliaCraton
Kambalda Nickel Metallogenic Province, Western Australia, AustraliaGeologic Province

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List

9 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:

Formula: ☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Reference: Emeralds of the World English extraLapis Vol. 2 2002 pp24-35
Formula: Na(AlSi3O8)
Reference: Emeralds of the World English extraLapis Vol. 2 2002 pp24-35
Albite var: Oligoclase
Formula: (Na,Ca)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
Reference: Jacobson, M., Calderwood, M., Grguric, B.(2007): Pegmatites of Western Australia (2007)
'Albite-Anorthite Series'
Reference: Jacobson, M., Calderwood, M., Grguric, B.(2007): Pegmatites of Western Australia (2007)
Formula: Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Reference: ; Emeralds of the World English extraLapis Vol. 2 2002 pp24-35
Beryl var: Emerald
Formula: Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Reference: ; Emeralds of the World English extraLapis Vol. 2 2002 pp24-35
Reference: ; Pegmatites of Western Australia; M Jacobson, M Calderwood, B Grguric; Hesperian Press, Perth, 2007
'Chlorite Group'
Reference: Emeralds of the World English extraLapis Vol. 2 2002 pp24-35
Formula: Fe2+Cr3+2O4
Reference: Emeralds of the World English extraLapis Vol. 2 2002 pp24-35
Formula: CaMg(CO3)2
Reference: Emeralds of the World English extraLapis Vol. 2 2002 pp24-35
Formula: Be2SiO4
Reference: Fetherston, J.M., Stocklmayer, S.M., Stocklmayer, V. (2013) Gemstones of Western Australia. Geological Survey of Western Australia, Bulletin 25, 325pp.
Formula: KMg3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Reference: Emeralds of the World English extraLapis Vol. 2 2002 pp24-35
Formula: SiO2
Reference: Emeralds of the World English extraLapis Vol. 2 2002 pp24-35
Formula: ☐{Ca2}{Mg5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Reference: Jacobson, M., Calderwood, M., Grguric, B.(2007): Pegmatites of Western Australia (2007)

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Group 9 - Silicates
var: Oligoclase9.FA.35(Na,Ca)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
var: Emerald9.CJ.05Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Albite-Anorthite Series'-
'Chlorite Group'-

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 51 - NESOSILICATES Insular SiO4 Groups Only
Insular SiO4 Groups Only with cations in [4] coordination
Group 61 - CYCLOSILICATES Six-Membered Rings
Six-Membered Rings with [Si6O18] rings; possible (OH) and Al substitution
Group 66 - INOSILICATES Double-Width,Unbranched Chains,(W=2)
Amphiboles - Mg-Fe-Mn-Li subgroup
Group 71 - PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
Sheets of 6-membered rings with 2:1 layers
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Group 76 - TECTOSILICATES Al-Si Framework
Al-Si Framework with Al-Si frameworks
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
var: Oligoclase
'Albite-Anorthite Series'-
var: Emerald
'Chlorite Group'-

List of minerals for each chemical element

H PhlogopiteKMg3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
H Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
H Tremolite☐{Ca2}{Mg5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Be Beryl (var: Emerald)Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Be PhenakiteBe2SiO4
Be BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
C DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
O Beryl (var: Emerald)Be3Al2(Si6O18)
O QuartzSiO2
O PhlogopiteKMg3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
O ChromiteFe2+Cr23+O4
O DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
O AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
O PhenakiteBe2SiO4
O BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
O Tremolite☐{Ca2}{Mg5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
O Albite (var: Oligoclase)(Na,Ca)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
Na AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Na Albite (var: Oligoclase)(Na,Ca)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
Mg PhlogopiteKMg3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Mg Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Mg DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
Mg Tremolite☐{Ca2}{Mg5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Al Beryl (var: Emerald)Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Al PhlogopiteKMg3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Al AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Al BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
Al Albite (var: Oligoclase)(Na,Ca)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
Si Beryl (var: Emerald)Be3Al2(Si6O18)
Si QuartzSiO2
Si PhlogopiteKMg3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Si AlbiteNa(AlSi3O8)
Si PhenakiteBe2SiO4
Si BerylBe3Al2(Si6O18)
Si Tremolite☐{Ca2}{Mg5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Si Albite (var: Oligoclase)(Na,Ca)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
K PhlogopiteKMg3(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Ca Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Ca DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
Ca Tremolite☐{Ca2}{Mg5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Ca Albite (var: Oligoclase)(Na,Ca)[Al(Si,Al)Si2O8]
Cr ChromiteFe2+Cr23+O4
Fe Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Fe ChromiteFe2+Cr23+O4

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

2500 - 4000 Ma

ID: 765434
mafic extrusive rocks 74248

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Description: Basalt, high-Mg basalt, minor mafic intrusive rocks; some andesite; agglomerate; mafic schist; amphibolite; dolerite; komatiitic basalt; carbonated basalt; basaltic andesite; mafic rock interleaved with minor granitic rock

Comments: igneous mafic volcanic; igneous mafic intrusive; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Igneous mafic volcanic; igneous mafic intrusive

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]

Neoarchean - Mesoarchean
2500 - 3200 Ma

ID: 3187518
Archean volcanic rocks

Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)

Comments: Yilgarn Craton

Lithology: Greenstone belt; mafic-ultramafic volcanic 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


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Jacobson, M., Calderwood, M., Grguric, B.(2007): Pegmatites of Western Australia (2007)

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