Log InRegister
Home PageAbout MindatThe Mindat ManualHistory of MindatCopyright StatusWho We AreContact UsAdvertise on Mindat
Donate to MindatCorporate SponsorshipSponsor a PageSponsored PagesMindat AdvertisersAdvertise on Mindat
Learning CenterWhat is a mineral?The most common minerals on earthInformation for EducatorsMindat Articles
Minerals by PropertiesMinerals by ChemistryAdvanced Locality SearchRandom MineralRandom LocalitySearch by minIDLocalities Near MeSearch ArticlesSearch GlossaryMore Search Options
Search For:
Mineral Name:
Locality Name:
The Mindat ManualAdd a New PhotoRate PhotosLocality Edit ReportCoordinate Completion ReportAdd Glossary Item
Mining CompaniesStatisticsThe ElementsUsersBooks & MagazinesMineral MuseumsMineral Shows & EventsThe Mindat DirectoryDevice Settings
Photo SearchPhoto GalleriesNew Photos TodayNew Photos YesterdayMembers' Photo GalleriesPast Photo of the Day Gallery

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

This page is currently not sponsored. Click here to sponsor this page.
Lock Map
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:

Formula: ☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Reference: Peter Eliott
Formula: CaCO3
Formula: CaCO3
Reference: Peter Eliott
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.
Formula: CaMg(CO3)2
Formula: CaSO4 · 2H2O
Reference: Steve Sorrell Collection
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.
Formula: NiS
Formula: Ni
Reference: From USGS MRDS database
Formula: (Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
Reference: Peter Eliott
Formula: (FexNiy)Σ9S8
Formula: SrCa4Cr3+8(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O
Reference: Steve Sorrell Collection
Formula: FeS2
Formula: SiO2
Reference: Steve Sorrell Collection;

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Group 7 - Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates and Tungstates
'Gypsum'7.CD.40CaSO4 · 2H2O
'Nickelhexahydrite'7.CB.25(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
Group 9 - Silicates
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'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
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
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
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
Putnisite-SrCa4Cr3+8(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O

List of minerals for each chemical element

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
C AragoniteCaCO3
C CalciteCaCO3
C DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
C PutnisiteSrCa4Cr83+(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O
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
Mg Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Mg DolomiteCaMg(CO3)2
Mg Nickelhexahydrite(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
Si Actinolite☐{Ca2}{Mg4.5-2.5Fe0.5-2.5}(Si8O22)(OH)2
Si QuartzSiO2
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
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
Cr PutnisiteSrCa4Cr83+(CO3)8SO4(OH)16 · 23H2O
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
Ni MilleriteNiS
Ni Nickelhexahydrite(Ni,Mg,Fe)SO4 · 6H2O
Ni Pentlandite(FexNiy)Σ9S8
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

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


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.
Mineral and/or Locality  
Mindat.org is an outreach project of the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Public Relations by Blytheweigh.
Copyright © mindat.org and the Hudson Institute of Mineralogy 1993-2019, except where stated. Most political location boundaries are © OpenStreetMap contributors. Mindat.org relies on the contributions of thousands of members and supporters.
Privacy Policy - Terms & Conditions - Contact Us Current server date and time: May 24, 2019 22:46:55 Page generated: July 29, 2018 09:45:10
Go to top of page