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Collins Valley serpentine mine, Nelson Region, South Island, New Zealand

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 41° 9' 22'' South , 173° 32' 14'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -41.15619,173.53746
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate

A quarry operating during the 1970's producing crushed serpentine for agricultural application.

The quarry is 35 kilometres by road, on a hillside above, and a few hundred metres north of State Highway 6 at the western end of Collins Valley. Serpentine was mined by Highways Construction Ltd (a subsidiary of Transport (Nelson) Ltd) between 1979-1980 for crushed lime, transported and used on farmland in the Rai Valley, a short distance to the east. The operation was uneconomic, the mine closed, and plant was dismantled.

The geology information refers to a road cut on State Highway 6, on trend, less than 500 metres south of the quarry. It is likely the quarry geology is similar.

The site is part of an ultramafic belt stretching from D'Urville Island in the north, for 90 kilometres south-west. The road cuts revealed serpentinite in contact with spilite and greywacke. The rocks are part of a steep dipping, faulted and sheared, north north-east trending zone. The serpentinite has been crushed and re-cemented, and shows as a western and eastern body, with smaller serpentinite bodies between.

The dominant rock is greywacke, as fine tuffaceous sandstone, and minor argillite, with pumpellyite flakes, prehnite veins, un-twinned albite,and minor chlorite and epidote. Microscopic small radiolarian-like orbs were seen in some of the material (?).

Spilite shows as pyroxene, or less abundant shattered titanaugite, with epidote and pumpellyite fine grained masses, and ilmenite skeletal crystals.

The serpentinite is crushed and re-cemented with hydrogrossular, with minor chromite, and magnetite. Antigorite dominates the material when tested, with prehnite and aragonite veins, with lesser chrysotile and lizardite. Minor steatite lenses and pods occur within the serpentinite, the majority consisting of talc.

There is a black amphibolite body as part of the site, consisting of green hornblende, epidote, serpentinite, euhedral titanite, and minor apatite and prehnite veins.

Mineral List

17 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

Cenomanian - Olenekian
93.9 - 251.2 Ma

ID: 1317004
Patuki Melange

Age: Mesozoic (93.9 - 251.2 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Patuki Melange

Description: Mafic and ultramafic igneous and sedimentary rocks in a sheared serpentinite matrix.

Comments: Basement (Eastern Province) melange. Age based on absolute age calculated from stratigraphic age range

Lithology: Major:: {melange},Minor:: {serpentinite, ultramafic volcanics, mafic volcanics}

Reference: Heron, D.W. . Geology Map of New Zealand 1:250 000. GNS Science Geological Map 1. [13]

Jurassic - Triassic
145 - 252.17 Ma

ID: 3185705
Mesozoic sedimentary and volcanic rocks

Age: Mesozoic (145 - 252.17 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Torlesse Supergroup

Lithology: Mafic volcanic rocks; basalt; chert,greywacke,argillite,limestone

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]

Early Jurassic - Triassic
174.1 - 252.17 Ma

ID: 1312872
Patuki Melange

Age: Mesozoic (174.1 - 252.17 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Patuki Melange

Description: Melange comprising mafic and ultramafic igneous and sedimentary rocks in a sheared serpentinitic matrix.

Comments: Eastern Province (undifferentiated) Rocks

Lithology: Melange

Reference: Edbrooke, S.W., Heron, D.W., Forsyth, P.J., Jongens, R. (compilers). Geology Map of New Zealand 1:1 000 000. GNS Science Geological Map 2. [12]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on 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 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)
Palmer, D.F. (1966) The Collins River serpentinite and contact rock. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, 9:3, 195-202.
Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies (1989) 2. Crushed Lime, Vol. 2:3.

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