|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||30° 36' 15'' South , 121° 34' 46'' East|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||-30.60408,121.57951|
|Köppen climate type:||BSh : Hot semi-arid (steppe) climate|
Gold mineralisation is chiefly in a felsic to intermediate porphyry and polymictic conglomerate
The Kanowna Belle Gold Mine is 20 kilometres north-east of Kalgoorlie, and two kilometres west south-west of the historic gold workings at Kanowna. It is surprising for such an intensely explored area over a period of almost one hundred years, the Kanowna Belle deposit was only discovered in 1989.
Its ownership has been convoluted. The deposit was discovered by Delta Gold in 1989. An open pit mine opened in 1993 by Delta and Pancontinental Mining. An amalgamation of leases saw the Golden Valley Joint Venture between Delta and Peko Gold. Delta bought out Peko, then merged with Goldfields Ltd to form Auriongold. This company was in turn purchased by Canadian miner Placer Dome. In 2006, fellow Canadian miner, Barrick Gold Corp acquired Placer Dome. Barrick owns several gold mines in Western Australia.
Gold mineralisation at Kanowna Belle was not immediately apparent, and it took several years of investigations to work out what was happening underground. The deposit was missed by the prospectors around 1900, as no evidence of it exists on the surface. It lays hidden under a weathered. leached, non-gold saprolitic bedrock. It is also off trend for the normally north-west to south east trending greenstone belts of the region. Further, its geology was different to most deposits in the region.
It has been described as a series of stacked lenses and some gold shoots, overlain by a supergene blanket of gold mineralisation. The supergene zone is 35-45 metres below the surface. The main lenses are named Hilder, Coyle, Lowes, Troy, and Hanging Wall Shoots. They are named after early Kanowna pioneers. A detailed description of the lenses is beyond the scope of this summary. The lenses/shoots run parallel with the Fitzroy Fault, which appears to have had a major bearing on how the deposit formed. The stacked lenses or shoots strike north-east, dipping moderately at 60 degrees to the south-east, striking up to 600m and to 1000m depth.
The supergene blanket is 1-10 metres thick, and extends horizontally beyond the lenses. The deposit contains widespread and variable carbonate-sericite, sodium and silica alteration. Pyrite is disseminated and sometimes veined and makes up 1-5% weight of the rock. Other sulphides and tellurides are very minor at less than 0.1% weight combined. The reference does not list the species. Gold is only occasionally visible, and needs to be processed to be extracted from the ore.
The deposit is hosted in the Boorara Domain, being a sequence of mafic and ultamafic lavas, with felsic volcanics, sediments, and conglomerates of the Gindalbie Formation. The country rock at Kanowna Belle is course fragmental mass flow sediments, interbedded with ultramafic rock showing fragments of older weathered rocks of different types as conglomerates (clast and polymict), felsic fragments, all intruded by Quartz and feldspar-phyric porphyries.
The original open pit accessed the old Ballarat and Last Chance vein systems. The open pit is now closed, and underground mining is taking place. The three underground mines are called Kanowna Belle, Kanowna and Kundana. The last one is sub-divided into Raleigh, Rubicon and Hornet Mines. The public can view the mining operations from two lookouts.
Commodity ListThis is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.
8 valid minerals.
Rock Types Recorded
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). 
|Neoarchean - Mesoarchean|
2500 - 3200 Ma
|Archean volcanic rocks|
Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)
Comments: Yilgarn Craton
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.