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Armstrong Ni Mine, Widgiemooltha, Coolgardie Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 31° 25' 36'' South , 121° 31' 35'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -31.42675,121.52654
GeoHash:G#: qdqmjquvv
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BSk : Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate


30 km SW of Kambalda, originally worked by Titan Resources. The abandoned mine is west of the Coolgardie-Norseman Highway half-way between Widgiemooltha and Spargoville.

The Armstrong nickel deposit was sold to Titan by Western Mining Corporation in September 2001, as part of Western Mining's exit strategy from nickel mining in the Kambalda region.

Titan began mining the deposit early 2004, however something was seriously amiss from the testing results. Establishing an open cut mine is a large enterprise involving many people, much planning and a lot of money. You want to be certain the ore will be payable.

After removing 2.5 million bench cubic metres of waste from the open cut, Titan found its first two shipments of ore to WMC's Kambalda nickel concentrator rejected. The company refused to accept any further ore shipments, which were viewed as outside specifications in the purchase agreement. It was the result of partially oxidised material being mixed with the sulphide material making the ratio of iron to magnesium oxide outside specifications. Only two months after the mine began it closed. The board resigned on-mass.

What was left was a closed mine, with an oxide resource opened, but largely not processed. With most mines in Western Australia this material is usually processed before anyone has a chance to see if it contains rare species, or anything of interest.

In 2007, elsewhere in the region, at a place called Polar Bear Peninsular, David Vaughan was working at a prospect for a local company. He noticed a strange purple mineral, which was identified by the South Australian Museum as a new and unique species they called putnisite. It was IMA approved in 2012.

In 2012, local prospector, specimen miner, and mineral collector, Clive Daws was investigating the Armstrong Mine. With him were Ted Fowler and Alan Longbottom. They noticed a purple vein which they thought might be stichtite or woodallite. It was subsequently identified as the second known occurrence of putnisite. The team recovered various other specimens from the mine in addition to putnisite including aragonite, millerite, calcite, dolomite, quartz needles, and dravite. Some on the same specimens as the putnisite, along with an amorphous bluey-green Cr silicate material. Shortly after collecting, the bench collapsed, and the material is now buried under tonnes of earth, so no more specimens are available than those taken out in 2012.

Putnisite has a unique chemistry and structure un-related to other minerals. It forms isolated pseudocubic translucent purple crystals in a matrix of quartz and near amorphous Cr silicate. It is chemically composed of strontium, calcium, sulphur, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. The species shows distinct pleochroism from pale purple to bluish grey. It forms in the oxidation zone of komatiite and dioritic lodes containing sulphide minerals. The species is named after Australian mineralogists Andrew and Christine Putnis.

Alternative Label Names

This is a list of additional names that have been recorded for mineral labels from this locality in the minID database. This may include previous versions of the locality name hierarchy from mindat.org.

Armstrong Mine, Widgiemooltha, Coolgardie Shire, Western Australia, Australia

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Commodity List

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


Mineral List


11 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

Actinolite
Formula: ☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Reference: Peter Eliott
Aragonite
Formula: CaCO3
Calcite
Formula: CaCO3
Reference: Peter Eliott
'Diorite'
Reference: Nickel, E.H., Clout, J.F.M. & Gartrell, B.J. (1994): Secondary Nickel Minerals from Widgiemooltha, Western Australia. Mineralogical Record (1994): 25: 283-291 & 302.
Dolomite
Formula: CaMg(CO3)2
Gypsum
Formula: CaSO4 · 2H2O
Reference: Steve Sorrell Collection
'Komatiite'
Reference: Nickel, E.H., Clout, J.F.M. & Gartrell, B.J. (1994): Secondary Nickel Minerals from Widgiemooltha, Western Australia. Mineralogical Record (1994): 25: 283-291 & 302.
Millerite
Formula: NiS
'commodity:Nickel'
Formula: Ni
Reference: From USGS MRDS database
Nickelhexahydrite
Formula: (Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
Reference: Peter Eliott
Pentlandite
Formula: (FexNiy)Σ9S8
Putnisite
Formula: SrCa4Cr3+8(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O
Reference: Steve Sorrell Collection
Pyrite
Formula: FeS2
Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Reference: Steve Sorrell Collection;

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
'Millerite'2.CC.20NiS
'Pentlandite'2.BB.15(FexNiy)Σ9S8
'Pyrite'2.EB.05aFeS2
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
'Quartz'4.DA.05SiO2
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
'Aragonite'5.AB.15CaCO3
'Calcite'5.AB.05CaCO3
'Dolomite'5.AB.10CaMg(CO3)2
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
'Gypsum'7.CD.40CaSO4 · 2H2O
'Nickelhexahydrite'7.CB.25(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
Group 9 - Silicates
'Actinolite'9.DE.10☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Diorite'-
'Komatiite'-
'Putnisite'-SrCa4Cr3+8(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 9:8
Pentlandite2.7.1.1(FexNiy)Σ9S8
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
Millerite2.8.16.1NiS
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Pyrite2.12.1.1FeS2
Group 14 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
A(XO3)
Calcite14.1.1.1CaCO3
AB(XO3)2
Dolomite14.2.1.1CaMg(CO3)2
Group 29 - HYDRATED ACID AND NORMAL SULFATES
AXO4·xH2O
Gypsum29.6.3.1CaSO4 · 2H2O
Nickelhexahydrite29.6.8.4(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Quartz75.1.3.1SiO2
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
Actinolite-☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Aragonite-CaCO3
'Diorite'-
'Komatiite'-
Putnisite-SrCa4Cr3+8(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
H GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
H Nickelhexahydrite(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
H PutnisiteSrCa4Cr83+(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O
CCarbon
C AragoniteCaCO3
C CalciteCaCO3
C DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
C PutnisiteSrCa4Cr83+(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O
OOxygen
O Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
O AragoniteCaCO3
O CalciteCaCO3
O DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
O GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
O Nickelhexahydrite(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
O PutnisiteSrCa4Cr83+(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O
O QuartzSiO2
MgMagnesium
Mg Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Mg DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
Mg Nickelhexahydrite(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
SiSilicon
Si Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Si QuartzSiO2
SSulfur
S GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
S MilleriteNiS
S Nickelhexahydrite(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
S Pentlandite(FexNiy)Σ9S8
S PutnisiteSrCa4Cr83+(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O
S PyriteFeS2
CaCalcium
Ca Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Ca AragoniteCaCO3
Ca CalciteCaCO3
Ca DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
Ca GypsumCaSO4 · 2H2O
Ca PutnisiteSrCa4Cr83+(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O
CrChromium
Cr PutnisiteSrCa4Cr83+(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O
FeIron
Fe Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Fe Nickelhexahydrite(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
Fe Pentlandite(FexNiy)Σ9S8
Fe PyriteFeS2
NiNickel
Ni MilleriteNiS
Ni Nickelhexahydrite(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
Ni Pentlandite(FexNiy)Σ9S8
SrStrontium
Sr PutnisiteSrCa4Cr83+(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O

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

Archean
2500 - 4000 Ma



ID: 751443
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 Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

References

Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
The Age newspaper (Melbourne) (2005), Titan Relies on its Rights, 12/01/2005
Rudenno, V.(2012), The Mining Valuation Handbook: Mining and Energy Valuation for Investors and Management, 2012
Kim Macdonald
Elliott, P., Giester, G., Rowe, R., Pring, A. (2014), Putnisite, Sr Ca4(CO3)8So4(OH)16.25H2O, A New Mineral From Western Australia: Description and Crystal Structure, Mineralogical Magazine, V78, No1, pp131-144


This page contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. 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 mindat.org 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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