Paroo Station Mine (Rosslyn Hill Mine; Magellan Mine; Magellan deposit), Wiluna, Wiluna Shire, Western Australia, Australia
|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||26° 32' 12'' South , 119° 58' 43'' East|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||-26.53679,119.97888|
|Köppen climate type:||BWh : Hot deserts climate|
"Largest lead carbonate mine in the world."
The mine works a residual Pb deposit in a silica-clay gangue. Only oxidic minerals are present, no sulphides.
Discovered in 1993. On January 16, 2015 the mine was placed on care and maintenance.
Located approx. 30 km west of the town of Wiluna, in the southeastern Yerrida Basin.
Ore at Paroo Station is extracted via drilling and blasting from a series of open pits on Magellan Hill (Magellan and Cano open pits). The Pinzon deposit is 1 kilometre to the south, Gama 1 kilometre east, and the Cano open pit 1.5 kilometres north-west from the Magellan open pit. The Finlayson Range prospects contain Pizarro/Columbus prospect 5 kilometres south, Drake prospect 5 kilometes south-west and Cortez prospect 5 kilometres west south-west, all from Magellan Hill. Very limited specimens have been seen in local collections of cerussite.
The deposit was discovered in 1991 by Renison Goldfields Corporation, and verified with drilling across 1991-1995. The prospect was purchased by Westralian Sands (later known as Iluka Resources) in 1998. Canadian company Ivernia Inc took over in 2002, and developed an open pit mine at Magellan and nearby Cano under the company name Magellan Metals in 2005.
Bulk lead was exported through Esperance. From December 2006 to March 2007, native birds were reported dying on mass. An investigation found they had died from lead poisoning, the town's water tanks were contaminated, and some residents had elevated blood lead levels. Mining was stopped. The State government contributed $20 million, and Magellan voluntarily $9 million to clean up the town, with a further $1 million donated to Esperance by the company for community projects. Mining resumed, with lead concentrate exported through Fremantle in sealed containers. Mining ceased again in 2011 after several stop work orders, although no breach of Magellan's strict new safety conditions were found. The company is planning to re-open the mine late 2013.
The deposits are found on the southern edge of the Earaheedy Basin in the Yerrida sub-basin. The deposits are in the Yelma Formation. They are flat lying to moderately dipping north and west, with north-east and south-east trending faults and gently open folding to the north-west and north-east. Magellan is 200 metres long, trends north, and has an average thickness of 650 metres. Cano is 800 metres long, trends north-west and has an average thickness of 400 metres. The Magellan orebody forms an outcropping mesa over an area 5 x 2.5 kilometres. Pinzon has two mineralised zones, one trends north-west and the other north-east, both 1000 metres long by 200 metres wide and averaging 5 metres thick. Pizarro, Gamma and Drake are similar.
Magellan and surrounding mines/prospects are a large stratabound sulphide free supergene lead deposit. It represents a new category within the class of supergene non sulphide mineral systems. It is unique and no similar example is known.
The 35 metre thick mineralised area is quartz-clay breccia with fragments of completely silicified carbonate with relict stromatolitic structures, siltstone, euhedral and colliform banded quartz in a white clay rich matrix.
The lithology starts from a surface colluvium, then silcrete. Thirdly a vughy quartz-clay collapsed breccia of silicified stromatolitic carbonate, chert, siltstone, colliform banded quartz in a cream to tan coloured matrix of kaolin clay with limonite and goethite, and lead minerals. Next is tan-brown coloured dolomite, then tan to orange-brown clays, iron oxides, cerussite and fine quartz/silica fragments. The next section is a strongly weathered brown-tan ferruginous siltstone greywacke, variably weathered sandstone and thinly bedded Fe sandstone greywackes, with a basal unweathered sandstone zone being hard and grey-green. Next is a mixed layer of clay, siltstone, sandstone and chert. Finally the underlying
300 metre thick Maraloou Formation of carbonaceous shale with finely crystallised pyrite and carbonate veining.
The dominate species in the mineralised zone is cerussite with lesser anglesite, and minor pyromorphite, coronadite, plattnerite, and plumbogummite. Minor sphalerite and galena is found in the underlying Maraloou Formation. Most of the cerussite is finely grained and indistinctive. occuring as replacment to the host rocks as flat lying sheets. Coronadite and anglesite is more common in the upper parts of the mineralised zone. In the lower zone is found veins and needle-like clusters of pyromorphite.
Mineral ListMineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
15 valid minerals.
Rock Types Recorded
Rock list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
Select Rock List TypeAlphabetical List Tree Diagram
Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.
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
0 - 0.0117 Ma
Age: Anthropocene (0 - 0.0117 Ma)
Comments: regolith; synthesis of multiple published descriptions
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). 
Localities in this Region
Ivernia Inc, SRK Consulting (2011) Technical Report on the Magellan Lead Carbonate Mine Western Australia (30 March 2011).