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Coppin Gap Cu-Mo deposit (Spinifex Ridge), Bamboo Creek District, East Pilbara Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 20° 53' 25'' South , 120° 6' 14'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -20.89033,120.10404
GeoHash:G#: qsm3jj10g
Locality type:Deposit
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

Porphyry copper-molybdenum deposit.

The name for this project has changed from Coppin Gap to Spinifex Ridge. The writer proposes this was done as a public relations exercise by the mining company, to shield it from criticism it is mining in a nature reserve, next to Coppin Gap, a local scenic attraction. All mines in Western Australia must meet strict environmental standards.

The area is 50 kilometres north-east of Marble Bar.

The mineralisation is hosted by the Warrawoona Greenstone Belt, of calc-alkaline quartz dacitic porphyries and grandodiorite. The ore zone forms a cap around the apex of a south dipping branch of a granodiorite intrusion in the greenstone belt. Molybdenum shows here at a grade in excess of 0.15%, 0.09% Cu and 1.7 g/t Ag in a JORC resource of 500 tonnes.

The country rock shows magnesian basalts, basalt/dolerites, and mixed felsic/balsitic volcanics, and an adjacent komatiitic flow. Spinifex Ridge represents the worlds oldest known porphyry related mineral deposit.

The mineralisation shows multiphase structurally controlled and randomly orientated veins, with sulphides, silica, carbonates, and sericite alteration. Chalcopyrite is found here, in greasy grey quartz veins, in an alteration zone. The mineralised zone is stockwork quartz, and quartz-carbonate veins, with variable amounts of molybdenite, chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite, pyrite, scheelite, and minor sphalerite, galena, arsenopyrite, tetrahedrite, stibnite, native copper.

Moly Metals Ltd has explored the area, and proposed open pit mining, producing 23 000 tpa of molybdenum concentrate and 48 000 tpa of copper concentrate, with a 10 year mine life. At present the deposit is viewed as uneconomic (2012).

Several small prospects have been identified east of this exploration area, containing Mo, Cu, Au, Pb and W.

Moly Mines Ltd is actively mining iron ore from several open pits, 500 metres west of the molybdenum project. Mining started in November 2010, but is only expected to last till 2016.

Mineral List

19 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

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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

3200 - 3600 Ma

ID: 3191854
Archean volcanic rocks

Age: Paleoarchean (3200 - 3600 Ma)

Comments: Pilbara Craton

Lithology: 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]

3200 - 3600 Ma

ID: 750632
Kelly Group

Age: Paleoarchean (3200 - 3600 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Kelly Group

Description: Felsic tuffaceous sandstone, quartz sandstone, siltstone, shale, chert, banded iron formation, schist, tuff, conglomerate, rhyolite, basalt, serpentinised peridotite; local dolerite sills; intrusive porphyry and microgranite; metamorphosed

Comments: sedimentary; igneous volcanic; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Sedimentary; igneous volcanic

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

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.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Singer, D.A., Berger, V.I., and Moring, B.C. (2008): Porphyry copper deposits of the world: Database and grade and tonnage models, 2008. US Geological Survey Open-File Report (2008):1155.
Environmental Protection Authority Report-Spinifex Ridge Molybdenum Project (2008):Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority, Moly Metals Australia Pty Ltd (Apr 2008)
Huston, D.L., Morant, P., Pirajno, F., Cummins, B., Baker, D., Mernagh, T.P. (2007), Paleoarchean Mineral Deposits of the Pilbara Craton: Genesis Tectonic Environment and Comparisons with Younger Deposits, Geoscience Australia, Geological Society of Western Australia, Moly Metals Pty Ltd, 2007

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