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Widgiemooltha 3 Deposit (Widgie 3 Open Pit; Widgie 3 Ni Mine), Widgiemooltha, Coolgardie Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 31° 30' 34'' South , 121° 34' 25'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -31.50964,121.57364
GeoHash:G#: qdqkwrz5p
Locality type:Deposit
Köppen climate type:BSk : Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate

Located 3 kilometres south of Widgiemooltha. The Imperial, Cardiff Castle, and the Mount mines are also in the immediate area.

Nickel mine.

Titan Resources in 2005, estimated a resource of 641 000 tonnes of ore at 1.46% Ni yielding 9360 tonnes of metal from below the base of the present small abandoned pit.

Gossan discovered by R.E. Cotton in 1967 in an old gold mining prospecting pit. Serpentinite lense forming a small prominent hill. Some mineralisation arsenical, minor copper.

The ultramafic formation is 600 metres thick of numerous picritic to peridotitic flow units, altered to tremolite, chlorite, serpentine, talc, and carbonate, with lenticular metabasalt, and metadolerite in the eastern part.

Laminated carbonaceous or sulphidic cherty metasedimentary horizons are found between the flows. Grey-green serpentine outcrops on the hill. The ultramafic host contains an irregular shaped lense at the base of the formation, 110 metres long by 30 metres thick. The Footwall is amphibolite containing hornblende prismatic crystals and some chlorite.

Grey quartz-feldspar porphyries intrude parallel to the deposit. Massive sulphide in thin to irregular breccia ore, one metre thick. Primary mineralisation is pyrrhotite, pentlandite, minor pyrite, chalcopyrite, magnetite, skutterudite, bravoite. Minor replacement of pentlandite with violarite at the 290 metre level. Violarite is the major mineral at the base of the oxidised zone. Chalcopyrite veinlets are found at the margins of the massive sulphides. Grades 3-20% Ni, averages 11% Ni.

A small lithium bearing pegamtite was encountered during mining, 2-3 metres wide, containing quartz, albite, slightly pinkish spodumene up to 10 cms long, botryoidal lepidolite to 2 cms across, and 5cm long elbaite with pink interiors and light blue exteriors, and inky blue elbaite to 5 mms long.

Commodity List

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

Mineral List

16 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

2500 - 4000 Ma

ID: 792604
mafic extrusive rocks 74248

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Description: Basalt, high-Mg basalt, minor mafic intrusive rocks; some andesite; agglomerate; mafic schist; amphibolite; dolerite; komatiitic basalt; carbonated basalt; basaltic andesite; mafic rock interleaved with minor granitic rock

Comments: igneous mafic volcanic; igneous mafic intrusive; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Igneous mafic volcanic; igneous mafic intrusive

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: 3189181
Archean sedimentary rocks

Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)

Comments: Yilgarn Craton

Lithology: Sedimentary 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

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Marston, R.J. (1984) Nickel Mineralization in Western Australia. Mineral Resources Bulletin 14, Geological Survey of Western Australia, 291 pages. 
Jacobson, M.I., Calderwood, M.A., Grguric, B.A. (2007) Guidebook to the Pegmatites of Western Australia. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia, 394 pages, at p.299.

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