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Westralia Gold Mine, Mount Morgans Gold Mine, Mount Margaret Goldfield, Laverton Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 28° 46' 4'' South , 122° 4' 4'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -28.76787,122.06781
GeoHash:G#: qdyu3dzp4
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate


For a short time in the early Twentieth Century, the Westralia Gold Mine was considered the richest in Western Australia.

Gold was discovered here in 1896 by Henry Lilley who pegged the Lily of the Valley lease. In 1898, the Westralia Mount Morgans Company was floated in Bombay India to English investors with 120 000 pounds capital. It was subsequently based in London. Alfred Edward Morgans was the main director from its inception, and was involved with the company until the bitter end. The Mount Morgans town site and Mount Morgans group of mines are named after him.

Morgans was born in Monmouthshire Wales in 1850. After a stint managing gold and silver mines in Central America, he arrived at Coolgardie in 1896. He became Coolgardie's first representative in State parliament, and was briefly Premier.

Initially the company was very successful. The first trial crushings were conducted in 1898 via a Tremain mill. A battery was erected which gradually expanded to a gigantic 60 heads. There was also a 5000 tonne cyanide plant. By 1904 400 men were employed. There were three lodes called Main, East and Kaolin. The main shaft was down to 350 feet. An electric light plant was installed supplying the mine and town, and Mount Morgans was the first town in the Eastern Goldfields to get the technology. By this stage the company had produced 59 600 tonnes of ore for 1 293 500 pounds, with 226 822 pounds of this distributed to shareholders.

In August 1902, Robert Ramsay (50) was killed by a fall of earth at the mine. In December 1907, Thomas Medlin was killed, although it is not mentioned how.

From 1904, things started to go downhill. The Main Lode disappeared under 200 feet and could not be relocated. 240 employees were sacked. In 1905, expenses outstripped income by 6000 pounds, and the company was overdrawn at the bank by another 7000 pounds. In 1909, the company was reconstructed, despite a shareholder revolt.

In 1911, the company was in the Bankruptcy Court. One of the creditors had taken action, the outcome of which, would have made him the sole secured creditor. This led other creditors to take action. The company owed money to the Western Australian Bank, Harris Scarfe, Wills and Co., and Faulding and Co. It also owed 25 000 pounds to the State Government and 5000 pounds to A.E. Morgans. The mine was closed between 1910 to 1913. The town fell into darkness when the electric light plant closed with the mine.

The company started mining again in 1913 and limped along only to 1916. The present site contains a very large elongated, north-south trending open pit, and underground workings from modern mining. The pit is immediately east of the historic town site. It has always been the dominant mine in the Mount Morgans group.

Gold is hosted in thin north-east dipping banded iron formation and porphyry dykes, in mainly a tholeiitic basaltic sequence. Talc-chlorite schists after komatiite occur in the western section of the pit. Lamphrophyre dykes are common in the pit. The structural history of the deposit is complex reflecting eleven discrete stages of a pulsing orogen. Early on there was westerly directing thrusting and dextral faults, switching with extensional under east-west contraction events. Then there was a north-west to south-east contraction, with sinistral strike slip faults. This was followed by a late collapse, with the development of normal faults, and flat lying crenulations.


Commodity List

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


Mineral List


4 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

Archean
2500 - 4000 Ma



ID: 817740
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: 3188638
Archean volcanic and intrusive 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



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.

References

Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1905), Westralia Mount Morgans, 08/08/1905
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1916), Westralia Mount Morgans, 21/04/1916
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1907), Westralia Mount Morgans Company, 15/01/1907
The Register newspaper (Adelaide) (1913), Westralia Mount Morgans, 18/02/1913
The Evening Star newspaper (Boulder) (1910), Westralia Mount Morgans, 21/02/1910
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1901), Westralia Mount Morgans, 03/06/1901
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1901), The Westralia Mount Morgans, 25/12/1901
The Argus newspaper (Melbourne) (1910), Westralia Mount Morgans Suspends. Town in Darkness, 15/02/1910
Sunday Times newspaper (Perth) (1911), Westralia Mount Morgans. Stranded at Last, 22/01/1911
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1899), Westralia Mount Morgans. Interview with Mr. Morgans, 06/01/1899
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1902), Mining Fatality at Morgans, 12/08/1902
Kalgoorlie Western Argus newspaper (1907), Mount Morgans Fatality, 31/12/1907
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1898), Westralia Mount Morgans, 22/01/1898
Blewett, R.S., Czarnota, K. (2007), Tectnostratigraphic Architecture and Uplift History of the Eastern Yilgarn Craton, Module 3, Terrane Structure, Project Y1-P763, Geoscience Australia, Record, Commonwealth of Australia, 2007

 
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