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Bow River Mine (Lower Limestone Creek), Lake Argyle area, Wyndham-East Kimberley Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 16° 38' 12'' South , 128° 36' 3'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -16.63661,128.60077
GeoHash:G#: qv53q7khx
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BSh : Hot semi-arid (steppe) climate

Located 20 kilometres north-east of the Argyle Diamond Mine on the lower reaches of Limestone Creek. The deposit was discovered in the early 1980's by Gem Exploration and Minerals. Mining commenced in 1988 by Poseidon/Freeport, and later Normandy when they took over Freeport. The mine closed in 1995. Astro Mining NL purchased the tenements and infrastructure in 1998.

While the deposit is smaller than the Argyle Diamond Mine, the diamonds found were on average twice the size of those at Argyle. Colours found range from brown, yellow, white, colourless and a few rare pink diamonds.

The deposit is diamondiferous gravels immediately north of Limestone Creek forming part of a low-lying alluvial plain of sand, silt, gravel and black soil. Five diamondiferous gravel horizons were identified, with mining concentrated on the T1 and T2 horizons. T1 contained an estimated resource of 1434 mt @ 0.524 carats per tonne, while T2 was 9945 mt @ 0.383 carats per tonne. Seven million carats of diamond was produced through the life of the mine from 24 million tonnes of gravel.

The T1 gravel horizon is ferruginous, 0.04 to 1.1 metres thick. The terrace is 8 metres above the flood plain, moderately well sorted, deeply oxidised, with sub-rounded pebbles, cobbles and boulders with diamonds through the profile. T2 is 4 metres above the flood plain, ferruginous, 6 kilometres long by 1 kilometre wide and covered in 2 metres of soil and clay. T3 is 2 metres above the flood plain and is a channel deposit. T4 is a flood plain deposit north and south of the creek, well bedded and un-weathered. T5 is the modern channel gravels within the bed of the creek.

Argyle rough diamonds are commonly seen for sale as specimens, as Rio Tinto came to an agreement with De Beers that it could sell a small percentage of its diamonds independently. At Bow River all the diamonds were sold directly to Antwerp dealers, and are not seen for sale generally as specimens.

Mineral List

1 valid mineral.

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

0 - 2.588 Ma

ID: 728634
colluvium 38491

Age: Pleistocene (0 - 2.588 Ma)

Description: Colluvium and/or residual deposits, sheetwash, talus, scree; boulder, gravel, sand; may include minor alluvial or sand plain deposits, local calcrete and reworked laterite

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]

Quaternary - Tertiary
0 - 66 Ma

ID: 2326504
Black soil

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 66 Ma)

Lithology: Black soil

Reference: Plumb, K.A. Geology of the Lissadell. Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia). [45]

Late Devonian - Middle Devonian
358.9 - 393.3 Ma

ID: 3188660
Paleozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Devonian (358.9 - 393.3 Ma)

Comments: Bonaparte Basin

Lithology: Limestone,sandstone,siltstone,conglomerate

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

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.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Grant Boxer, Geologist, Argyle Diamond Mine, 1979-1989
Fazakerley, V.W.(1990):Bow River Alluvial Diamond Deposit, Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea; AusIMM, Melbourne, Mono 14 (1990):2: 1659-1664

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