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Barbara Gold Mine (SBS 28 Complex; Shirl-Barbara-Surprise complex), Coolgardie, Coolgardie Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 30° 57' 46'' South , 121° 14' 47'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -30.96278,121.24639
GeoHash:G#: qdqpz52ut
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BSh : Hot semi-arid (steppe) climate

Small, abandoned, open cut gold mine located 8 km SE of Coolgardie, in the Eastern Goldfields of WA (active from the 1890s until "fairly recently").

The gold was worked in quartz lodes in metamafic greenstones of the Yilgarn Province but some pegmatite veins also occur.

Around 1974, 'danalite-helvite' was discovered in a 0.3 to 1 metre thick pegmatite vein at this gold mine, and specimens have also been found on the huge mullock hill. EDS analysis by Excalibur Minerals has shown the material to be helvite, but many still refer to it as danalite-helvite, in reference to the original uncertainty when it was discovered.

SEM-EDAX characterisation of crystals taken from a vugh opened in 2007 by Grguric and Downes (2009) showed all to be the helvite end-member, leading these authors to a more comprehensive examination of helvite-group minerals from the locality in the W.A. Museum collection. Twelve samples were analysed and all proved to be helvite with variable Fe (3 to 29 mol%) and Zn (0.4 to 15 mol%) substituting for Mn. The occurrence of danalite at the locality is now considered doubtful.

The mine lies on the eastern extension of the Tindal's cross fold axis, in shear zones in the Hampton Ultramafic Belt. The ultramafics are metamorphosed interbedded mafic lavas, ultramafic rocks and schists, mafic intrusives, and sediments, all intruded by porphyry and alaskite (leucogranite) dykes. Gold is found in the shear zones, in ultramafics, close to the porphyry dykes. Some gold is also found in hybridised siliceous lodes, in folded and jointed porphyries, and mafic/ultramafic contacts.

Commodity List

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

Mineral List

17 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

2500 - 4000 Ma

ID: 708390
ultramafic and minor mafic rocks 74475

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Description: Tremolite-chlorite-talc amphibolite, metapyroxenite, pyroxenite, peridotite, serpentinite, ultramafic schists, komatiite, high-Mg basalt; also chalcedony, silica, jasper, silcrete, silica cap rock on ultramafic rocks

Comments: igneous ultramafic intrusive; meta-igneous ultramafic volcanic; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Igneous ultramafic intrusive; meta-igneous ultramafic 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]

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, 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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Grguric, B. A. & Downes, P. J. (2009): Pegmatite minerals from the Barbara mine, Coolgardie, Western Australia. Australian Journal of Mineralogy (2009):14: 55-60.
Mock, C., Elliott, B.G., Ewers, G.R., Lorenz, R.P. (1987), Gold Deposits of Western Australia, BMR, Datafile (MINDEP), Resource Deposit 3, Department of Primary Industries and Energy, Bureau of Mineral Resources Geology Geophysics, Commonwealth Government of Australia, 1987

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