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Mount Farmer Mine (Niobe prospect), Mount Farmer Station, Mount Magnet Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 27° 42' 29'' South , 117° 15' 58'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -27.70815,117.26629
GeoHash:G#: qe56k7ysq
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

An abandoned mine 89 kilometres north-west of Mount Magnet. Contains the North-East Mount Farmer, Main Mount Farmer and South Mount Farmer pegmatites. Small-scale near-surface mining took place during the 1960's on the Main and South pegmatites. This was abandoned in the late 70's. The pegmatites were systematically explored from 1984-1986, trial mining in 1987. Pancontinental Mining Ltd, Cove Mining NL and Richard Read and Associates Pty Ltd formed a joint venture to mine the deposit. Pancontinental dropped out in 1992. In 1995, mining eventually started with the remaining two companies, and Resource Management GP. The quartz hill overlying the pegmatite was removed to gain access to the microlite ore, resulting in a 60 metre diameter by 20 metre deep pit, known as the Main Mount Farmer Pit. Mining ceased in 1999.

The Main Mount Farmer pegmatite is at least 400 metres long, up to 25-35 metres wide, strikes north-east to south-west and dips 30-40 degrees north-west.

Extensive information is known about the pegmatite from D.P. Broomfield's university thesis before mining started. The pegmatite is zoned in layers from the footwall to the hangingwall with:

1. layered aplitic fine grained microcline-quartz-plagioclase pegmatite with muscovite, schorl, almandine and small light green beryl crystals.
2. footwall zone of quartz-microcline-plagioclase pegmatite with muscovite, almandine, schorl and biotite.
3. thin discontinuous zinnwaldite-quartz-albite zone as isolated lens within the wall zone with small green beryl crystals, rare amazonite, faded red spessartine, possibly dark grey-green porcellaneous masses of altered spodumene and euhedral white to bluish topaz with a thick fibrous surficial layer of hydromica being possibly a variety of damourite.(described as spectacular looking by the reference). The zinnwaldite forms curved plates in clusters 3-7cms in diameter.
4. albite-quartz core-margin unit found only on the footwall side of the quartz core, with apatite, bismuth, possibly bismite and bismutite, red and green elbaite, white, grey and rust-stained fluorite, lepidolite, manganotantalite, manganocolumbite, honey-yellow coloured microlite containing plumbomicrolite, green muscovite, possibly the altered spodumene noted above, and altered and unaltered topaz.
5. quartz core of white opaque quartz with clear, white to brown fluorite, and pyrite.
6. thin discontinuous albite-quartz core-margin unit, with fine grained lepidolite, topaz, silver and green muscovite.
7. hangingwall zone of quartz-microcline-plagioclase pegmatite with thin lenses of zinnwaldite-quartz-albite pegmatite within the wall zone.
8. thin fine grained contact zone of quartz-microcline-plagioclase-muscovite.

As commonly noted on Mindat for Western Australia, it is a tragedy specimens were not available for collections before it was mined out.

The reference also described the South pegmatite (but not the North-East). Located 1.25 kilometres south south-west of the Main pit. The pegmatite is at least 200 metres long, 2 metres wide, strikes east south-east and dips 60 degrees north. Most of the pegmatite is said to have been mined out, and the pit partially collapsed. The pegmatite is well zoned but thin, of a blocky grey quartz core, surrounded by a discontinuous thin zone of cleavelandite and quartz containing minor amounts of rubellite, fine grained silver-green muscovite, and lepidolite. Next is an intermediate zone of quartz and microcline, containing large 'books' of muscovite, and roughly crystallised green and white beryl crystals. The wall zone consists of a much finer grained layered aplitic unit of albite, quartz, and mica, with a 2 cm wide band of almandine.

Mineral List

19 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

Neoarchean - Mesoarchean
2500 - 3200 Ma

ID: 3187503
Archean intrusive rocks

Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)

Comments: Yilgarn 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]

2500 - 4000 Ma

ID: 909291
felsic volcanic rocks 74291

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Description: Felsic volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks, locally amygdaloidal or fragmental; dacite, quartz-feldspar porphyry, tuff, agglomerate, andesitic lava, quartz-muscovite schist, felsic schist, felsic gneiss

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

Lithology: Igneous felsic volcanic; igneous 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

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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Calderwood, M.A., Grguric;, B.A., Jacobson, M.I., (2007): Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia; Hesperian Press, Perth, 2007.

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