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Phar Lap Gold Mine, Meekatharra Goldfield, Meekatharra, Meekatharra Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 26° 36' 53'' South , 118° 30' 10'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -26.61488,118.50280
GeoHash:G#: qek28dgj5
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

(Map- the Meekatharra-Sandstone Road on Google Maps is incorrectly placed, and is actually further east)

The mine is about 2 kilometres south-east of Meekatharra, and now marked by a modern abandoned open pit developed in the 1980's and 1990's. It is at the southern end of the main Paddy's Flat lode. The Mickey Doolan pit borders it to the north. Later in the 1920's and 1930's the New Gwalia and Peter Pan leases were also in the area, totalling five shafts in an area of one acre. The New Gwalia was a rich mine for a short time. The Phar Lap mine was originally known as Gwalia. Possibly to prevent confusion with the more well known Sons of Gwalia mine at Leonora, the name was changed to Phar Lap, a famous Australian racehorse.

The mine was developed by Jim Eves around 1905, who managed to obtain only food money from it, until 1918 when he hit a rich shoot at the 100 foot level. Ellison (surname) is also noted as an owner. The 1918 crushing came in at 590 tonnes of ore for 3757 ounces of gold.

The mine is reported closed 1920, and the employees paid off. It is noted the mine is owned by A. Grace in 1933, with some active mining taking place.

The General Options Company in 1934 secured the ground between the Phar Lap and Globe mines 3 kilometres to the south, and explored the area. Boring was conducted by the Goldfields Diamond Drilling Company the same year. They were a subsidiary of the Ingliston Albert Development Company NL. The Phar Lap syndicate operating in the area at the time consisted of J.H. Johnson, Alexander Scott and Arthur Richards. Johnson had been involved with the Ora Banda field, while the last two were Quairading farmers. In 1935 they sold the Haveluck Mine at Meekatharra to recently formed Meekatharra Gold Mines Ltd for 96 500 pounds at the height of the 1930's gold boom.

Shortly after the Phar Lap mine is owned by C. Ribatto who lived in Italy, and let the mine to the Bonomelli brothers, who formed a tributing party in 1936. Crushing from these tributors was found from this time until the early 1940's. In February 1939, Giacomo Rinaldi (44) was killed in a fall of earth at the mine. Vincenzo Bonomelli was also injured when buried to the waist in the same incident. Giacomo had only just arrived from Italy to be employed at the mine. The scene was discovered by his brother Domonic Rinaldi, who went to investigate when the miners failed to surface.

Big Bell Ltd took out an option over the mine in 1946, and conducted considerable exploration work. They stated the mine was too small for them and abandoned the option.

The Coolgardie Brilliant Company purchased the mine late 1947 for 2500 pounds and 10% of gold won to the vendors. A test parcel of 400 tonnes came in at 8 dwt/t. They installed a plant and did exploration work. When the plant cost more than they anticipated, they requested more money from shareholders six months later. When little gold was found, they decided to sink a shaft at the southern end of the lease, and applied for a government subsidy. After two years of losses, and finding the Phar Lap Mine unprofitable, they ceased operations at the mine in 1950.

Commodity List

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

Mineral List

9 valid minerals.

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

0 - 66 Ma

ID: 894614
ferruginous duricrust 38498

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 66 Ma)

Description: Ferruginous duricrust, laterite; pisolitic, nodular, vuggy; may include massive to pisolitic ferruginous subsoil, mottled clays, magnesite, reworked products of ferruginous and siliceous duricrusts, calcrete, gossan; residual ferruginous saprolite

Comments: regolith; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Regolith

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: 3188304
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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Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
The Daily News newspaper (Perth) (1918) A Plucky Prospector who has been Rewarded. A splendid Little Mine, 25/01/1918.
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1939) Fall of Earth. Tributor Killed at Phar Lap Mine, 20/02/1939.
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1934) Meekatharra, 08/11/1934.
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1948) Phar Lap Mine. Coolgardie Brilliant's Purchase, 25/02/1948.
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1934) Meekatharra Notes, 25/10/1934.
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1950) Mine to Seek Loan. Move by Coolgardie Brilliant, 15/04/1950.
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1950) Failure of Coolgardie Brilliant Company, 05/04/1950.
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1920) Meekatharra, 05/08/1920.
The Western Australia newspaper (Perth) (1933) Meekatharra Crushings, 31/01/1933.
Western Argus newspaper (Kalgoorlie) (1918) The Gwalia Mine, 05/02/1918.
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1948) Phar Lap Mine. Company's Venture, 08/06/1948.
Sunday Times newspaper (Perth) (1939) Meekatharra Needs Big Capital, 18/06/1939.
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1938) Meekatharra District, 22/07/1938.
Sunday Times newspaper (Perth) (1935) A Mining Deal, 30/06/1935.
Alexander, P., Geldard, D., O'Beirne, W., Payne, D., (1986) Grade Control at Phar Lap and Haveluck Mines Meekatharra: techniques successes and failures, AUSIMM (Perth) (Selective Open Pit Gold Mining Seminar), pp 103-109, 1986.
Eilu, Pasi. (2003) Exploration for orogenic gold deposits, Fennoscandian Exploration and Mining 2003, Rovaniemi, Finland, 72p.

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