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Salgash gold mines (Warrawoona), Marble Bar, East Pilbara Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 21° 17' 9'' South , 119° 49' 40'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -21.28595,119.82779
GeoHash:G#: qsjnytpbm
Locality type:Group of Mines
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

Salgash is a long forgotten goldfield. The general impression is initial gold discoveries on and near the surface were incredibly rich, but didn't extend at depth to any great extent. It is 20 kilometres south south-east of Marble Bar.

Charles Kopeke (sometimes spelt Kopecke) is credited for discovering the gold reef in 1897 which ran for miles over the hills. He pegged a claim called Reward. Early reports described the whole region from Marble Bar to Nullagine as The Salgash Belt. It was also a town, although a writer in 1899 states it had two hotels, a bush telegraph office and little else, although one hundred men were working the surrounding goldfield at this time. In 1898, the inhabitants of Salgash insisted the town's name be changed to the indigenous Warrawoona.

The next lease pegged by W.J. Corboy and Pontt, called Klondyke at 6 acres.
They drove an access tunnel into the hill, lined with free coarse gold in quartz. Virtually the entire town of Marble Bar left the next day for the goldfield. Initial gold discoveries along the reef were spectacular, outcropping for about 6 kilometres, 60 to 100 tonnes of gold on the surface. Pilbara Inspector of Mines, E. Davenport Cleland, made a detailed report on the goldfield in 1909, but the goldfield was already in decline.

All the mines at this time were operated by single prospectors or small local syndicates. Bow Bells was the first mine visited which had a ten head battery but no mining was taking place. The Gauntlet Mine at 12 acres
had a small plant but also no mining on a shaft 42 metres down. It was on a large reef with poor gold grades. The mine described as being in a bad condition. It was originally pegged in 1898 by Mackenzie and Corbett

The Gift Mine was south-east of Bow Bells, owned by Richards and Bradley, who had abandoned the mine due to the small vein it was on and the inflow of water. South-east of Gift was the Golden Gauntlet Mine with a shaft 15 metres deep, on a reef 60-80 cms wide, and a shoot 3 metres long.

The Klondyke Boulder Mine was operating on five reefs but was struggling to stay above water (literally) which was flooding the underground workings. A newish main shaft had been sunk through soft schist between the south and main (or blue) reefs. It employed twelve men with a five head battery. In 1909 it was worked by H. Cooper, M.L. Cooke, and Frank Atkinson. It is also stated in 1910 the liquidators had taken over the mine on behalf of the British Exploration Company, which had gone bankrupt several years before. Around 1909 it applied for government assistance to develop the mine, and good gold was found in 1912, but nothing was noted after this.

The Klondyke Queen Mine was owned by Royer and Aitkins, on a very small reef, dipping at a high angle west. They had constructed a tunnel 131 metres into the hill following it. In 1914 it closed. Next was an un-named shaft Davenport Cleland found contained quartz coated with a thin film of gold.

Continuing south-east, the old St George workings, Cuban, Britannia Mines were all abandoned. St George was near the crest of the hill to the north of the bar. Alluvial gullies below this had been worked with some success. Cuban and Britannia were on the south side of the bar on the Kopeke leader. Beyond this was Daly, Frederick and Vereo lease, and adjacent to the south J. O'Connors shaft. At the foot of the range on the south side of the bar was a new lease called Koombana on a well defined reef, 213-243 metres along the surface.

No reference to mining was found after 1914 until some small scale mining occurred in the 1930's by pairs or lone prospectors, then nothing. Other mines in the area are Cairns and Franklin Mines 10 kms north; Apex and Phoenix 5 kms west at the northern end of the Salgash field, Euro and Coppenhagen near the track 5 kms west from the middle section of Salgash and Princept two kms west; Wheel of Fortune and Charlie Mines west at the southern end of the field.

The area has produced officially 0.94 tonnes of gold. It has a JORC resource of 9.10 tonnes of gold. The deposits are associated with the Klondyke Shear Zone, which cuts a synclinal structure between the Mount Edgar and Corunna Downs granitic complexes. Most of the deposits are within 50 metres and parallel to the shear zone, in mafic and ultramafic rocks of the Apex Basalt.

The largest deposits are within sericitic schist to the south of a narrow (under 2 metre) sub vertical mylonitized chert known as the Kopekes Leader. There is an early alteration phase of carbonate-chlorite-talc-quartz, and later ore stage of sericite-pyrite-fuchsite. Gold mineralisation is within 10-30 mm wide boundinaged veins within sericite-pyrite selvages. Other minerals include chalcopyrite with minor sphalerite and galena. The veins shows as chocolate tablet boundinage with horizontal and vertical extension.

Commodity List

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Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

23 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

Mesoarchean - Paleoarchean
2800 - 3600 Ma

ID: 3189906
Archean intrusive rocks

Age: Archean (2800 - 3600 Ma)

Comments: Pilbara Craton

Lithology: Intrusive igneous 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: 830112
Salgash Subgroup

Age: Paleoarchean (3200 - 3600 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Salgash Subgroup

Description: Banded iron formation, shale, felsic volcaniclastics, chert, jaspilite, agglomerate, dolerite, basalt, ultramafic rocks, basaltic andesite, amphibolite, chlorite schist, felsic schist, komatiitic basalt, siliciclastic rocks; metamorphosed

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

Lithology: Sedimentary; igneous felsic 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

Localities in this Region
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Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
The Northern Times newspaper (Carnarvon) (1931): Marble Bar News
(10 Sep 1931)
The Northern Times newspaper (Carnarvon)(1932): Pilbara Goldfield
(21 Sep 1932)
The Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1898): Marble Bar (04 Nov 1898)
The Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1898): Marble Bar (19 Aug 1898)
The Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1898): Pilbara (04 Nov 1898)
The Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1898): The Klondyke Leases
(10 Jun 1898)
The Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1909):Pilbara Goldfield. Warrawoona District (21 Sep 1909)
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 Mines Pty Ltd, 2007

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