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Mons Cupri Mine, Whim Creek, Roebourne Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 20° 52' 51'' South , 117° 48' 32'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -20.88078,117.80902
GeoHash:G#: qs7c0ycbt
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate


A copper, lead and zinc mine, which has in recent years been mined in conjunction with the Whim Creek mine. With ore from both deposits being shipped to a location centered between the two mines.

The name means 'hill of copper'. It was an accurate description for just under the iron stained capping of the hill, it opened into a mass of blue and green copper carbonates. Early efforts saw a series of quarries, and two tunnels from either end of the hill. While the quarries opened up a vista of malachite and azurite, the material largely only filled joints in the rock, and the deposit was low grade.

Copper has been mined from the deposit since 1897, from the supergene oxide zone, with 442 tonnes of copper ore mined until 1917. The Balla Balla Copper Company, then The Whim Well Copper Company who controlled the nearby mine, were two early companies.

Various companies explored the area from 1967, while from 1997 Straits Resources consolidated the VMS tenements in the area, including the Whim Creek deposit, and renewed oxide mining at Mons Cupri. In 2009, Venturex Resources took over the tenements, but has explored only.

It has a JORC resource of 4.94 Mt at 1.6% Cu. It is the largest VMS deposit in the area.

The deposit is hosted by the upper Mons Cupri Volcanics in the Whim Creek Belt. It is stockwork copper sulphides at the southern flank of the Mount Brown rhyolite, overlain by a shallow deposit of massive Cu-Pb-Zn sulphides.

The Mons Cupri Volcanics is a 600 metre thick massive coarse grained agglomerate that flanks a massive feldspar-phyric-dacite-rhyolite intrusive body. A VMS deposit being hosted by agglomerate is unusual.

There is a central high grade VMS zone, lower zinc zone, and low Cu stringer zone. The deposit is an ovoid lens 250 m by 400 m of stratiform Zn-Pb-Cu sulphides, 3 to 15 metres thick, underlain by stockworks, stringer and disseminated Cu-Zn mineralisation, with a large pipe like alteration zone of chlorite-sericite-carbonate. Several anomalies have been discovered nearby, which remain un-mined.

The stratiform lenses are bands of fine to medium grained pyrite, sphalerite and galena, minor chalcopyrite, and tetrahedrite, trace
bournonite and linnaeite, interbedded with tuffaceous sandstone, siltstone, and chert.

The underlying stockwork mineralisation is an anastomosing network of chalcedonic quartz, and carbonate veins, 10 to 100 metres thick, with chalcopyrite, and minor sphalerite and galena. It is confined to a funnel shaped alteration zone, 250 metres wide at the top, narrowing to 20 metres wide at a depth of 300 metres. The upper 30 metres of the funnel is a zone of dense stockwork networks of crustiform chalcedonic quartz-chalcopyrite veinlets, which also traverse the ore.

The upper alteration zone is dominated by Fe rich chlorite and siderite, enclosed by chlorite-carbonate-sericite alteration. At depth this grades to talc-chlorite-magnetite alteration, then laterally into sericite-chlorite alteration.

The deposit is weathered to 75 metres, showing malachite and minor azurite, but no secondary Zn or Pb minerals.

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List


19 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

Detailed Mineral List:

Azurite
Formula: Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Reference: Collins, P., Marshall, A.E., Black, S., Peardon, P. (date?), Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Deposits of the Archaean Western Pilbara Craton Northwestern Australia, Curtin University, School of Applied Geology, Mineral Deposits and Exploration Reasearch Group.
Bournonite
Formula: PbCuSbS3
Reference: Collins, P., Marshall, A.E., Black, S., Peardon, P. (date?), Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Deposits of the Archaean Western Pilbara Craton Northwestern Australia, Curtin University, School of Applied Geology, Mineral Deposits and Exploration Reasearch Group.
Cerussite
Formula: PbCO3
Reference: Geert Buters
Chalcocite
Formula: Cu2S
Reference: Simpson, E.S. (1948), Minerals of Western Australia, Vol 1, p 416
Chalcopyrite
Formula: CuFeS2
Reference: http://minedexext.dmp.wa.gov.au/minedex/external/common/appMain.jsp
'Chert'
Reference: Huston, D.L. (2006), Mineralization and Regional Alteration at the Mons Cupri Stratiform Cu-Zn-Pb Deposit Pilbara Craton Western Australia, Mineralium Deposita, 41, pp17-32, 2006
'Chlorite Group'
Reference: Collins, P., Marshall, A.E., Black, S., Peardon, P. (date?), Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Deposits of the Archaean Western Pilbara Craton Northwestern Australia, Curtin University, School of Applied Geology, Mineral Deposits and Exploration Reasearch Group.
Covellite
Formula: CuS
Reference: http://minedexext.dmp.wa.gov.au/minedex/external/common/appMain.jsp
Cuprite
Formula: Cu2O
Reference: Simpson, E.S. (1948), Minerals of Western Australia, Vol 2, p 131
'Dacite'
Reference: Huston, D.L. (2006), Mineralization and Regional Alteration at the Mons Cupri Stratiform Cu-Zn-Pb Deposit Pilbara Craton Western Australia, Mineralium Deposita, 41, pp17-32, 2006
'Feldspar Group'
Reference: Huston, D.L. (2006), Mineralization and Regional Alteration at the Mons Cupri Stratiform Cu-Zn-Pb Deposit Pilbara Craton Western Australia, Mineralium Deposita, 41, pp17-32, 2006
Galena
Formula: PbS
Reference: http://minedexext.dmp.wa.gov.au/minedex/external/common/appMain.jsp
Linnaeite
Formula: Co2+Co3+2S4
Reference: Collins, P., Marshall, A.E., Black, S., Peardon, P. (date?), Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Deposits of the Archaean Western Pilbara Craton Northwestern Australia, Curtin University, School of Applied Geology, Mineral Deposits and Exploration Reasearch Group.
Magnetite
Formula: Fe2+Fe3+2O4
Reference: http://minedexext.dmp.wa.gov.au/minedex/external/common/appMain.jsp
Malachite
Formula: Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Reference: http://minedexext.dmp.wa.gov.au/minedex/external/common/appMain.jsp
Muscovite
Formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Reference: Collins, P., Marshall, A.E., Black, S., Peardon, P. (date?), Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Deposits of the Archaean Western Pilbara Craton Northwestern Australia, Curtin University, School of Applied Geology, Mineral Deposits and Exploration Reasearch Group.
Muscovite var: Sericite
Formula: KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Reference: Collins, P., Marshall, A.E., Black, S., Peardon, P. (date?), Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Deposits of the Archaean Western Pilbara Craton Northwestern Australia, Curtin University, School of Applied Geology, Mineral Deposits and Exploration Reasearch Group.
Orthoclase
Formula: K(AlSi3O8)
Reference: Simpson, E.S. (1948), Minerals of Western Australia, Vol 1, p 20
Pyrite
Formula: FeS2
Reference: http://minedexext.dmp.wa.gov.au/minedex/external/common/appMain.jsp
Quartz
Formula: SiO2
Reference: Collins, P., Marshall, A.E., Black, S., Peardon, P. (date?), Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Deposits of the Archaean Western Pilbara Craton Northwestern Australia, Curtin University, School of Applied Geology, Mineral Deposits and Exploration Reasearch Group.
Quartz var: Chalcedony
Formula: SiO2
Reference: Huston, D.L. (2006), Mineralization and Regional Alteration at the Mons Cupri Stratiform Cu-Zn-Pb Deposit Pilbara Craton Western Australia, Mineralium Deposita, 41, pp17-32, 2006
'Rhyolite'
Reference: Huston, D.L. (2006), Mineralization and Regional Alteration at the Mons Cupri Stratiform Cu-Zn-Pb Deposit Pilbara Craton Western Australia, Mineralium Deposita, 41, pp17-32, 2006
'Sandstone'
Reference: Huston, D.L. (2006), Mineralization and Regional Alteration at the Mons Cupri Stratiform Cu-Zn-Pb Deposit Pilbara Craton Western Australia, Mineralium Deposita, 41, pp17-32, 2006
Siderite
Formula: FeCO3
Reference: Collins, P., Marshall, A.E., Black, S., Peardon, P. (date?), Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Deposits of the Archaean Western Pilbara Craton Northwestern Australia, Curtin University, School of Applied Geology, Mineral Deposits and Exploration Reasearch Group.
'Siltstone'
Reference: Huston, D.L. (2006), Mineralization and Regional Alteration at the Mons Cupri Stratiform Cu-Zn-Pb Deposit Pilbara Craton Western Australia, Mineralium Deposita, 41, pp17-32, 2006
'Slate'
Reference: Simpson, E.S. (1948), Minerals of Western Australia, Vol 2, p19
Sphalerite
Formula: ZnS
Reference: http://minedexext.dmp.wa.gov.au/minedex/external/common/appMain.jsp
Talc
Formula: Mg3Si4O10(OH)2
Reference: Collins, P., Marshall, A.E., Black, S., Peardon, P. (date?), Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Deposits of the Archaean Western Pilbara Craton Northwestern Australia, Curtin University, School of Applied Geology, Mineral Deposits and Exploration Reasearch Group.
Tetrahedrite
Formula: Cu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
Reference: http://minedexext.dmp.wa.gov.au/minedex/external/common/appMain.jsp
'Tuff'
Reference: Huston, D.L. (2006), Mineralization and Regional Alteration at the Mons Cupri Stratiform Cu-Zn-Pb Deposit Pilbara Craton Western Australia, Mineralium Deposita, 41, pp17-32, 2006

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
'Bournonite'2.GA.50PbCuSbS3
Chalcocite2.BA.05Cu2S
Chalcopyrite2.CB.10aCuFeS2
Covellite2.CA.05aCuS
Galena2.CD.10PbS
Linnaeite2.DA.05Co2+Co3+2S4
Pyrite2.EB.05aFeS2
Sphalerite2.CB.05aZnS
Tetrahedrite2.GB.05Cu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Cuprite4.AA.10Cu2O
Magnetite4.BB.05Fe2+Fe3+2O4
Quartz4.DA.05SiO2
var: Chalcedony4.DA.05SiO2
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
'Azurite'5.BA.05Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
'Cerussite'5.AB.15PbCO3
Malachite5.BA.10Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Siderite5.AB.05FeCO3
Group 9 - Silicates
Muscovite9.EC.15KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
var: Sericite9.EC.15KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Orthoclase9.FA.30K(AlSi3O8)
Talc9.EC.05Mg3Si4O10(OH)2
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
Chert-
Chlorite Group-
Dacite-
Feldspar Group-
Rhyolite-
Sandstone-
Siltstone-
Slate-
Tuff-

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 2:1
Chalcocite2.4.7.1Cu2S
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
Covellite2.8.12.1CuS
Galena2.8.1.1PbS
Sphalerite2.8.2.1ZnS
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:1
Chalcopyrite2.9.1.1CuFeS2
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 3:4
Linnaeite2.10.1.1Co2+Co3+2S4
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Pyrite2.12.1.1FeS2
Group 3 - SULFOSALTS
3 <ø < 4
Tetrahedrite3.3.6.1Cu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
ø = 3
Bournonite3.4.3.2PbCuSbS3
Group 4 - SIMPLE OXIDES
A2X
Cuprite4.1.1.1Cu2O
Group 7 - MULTIPLE OXIDES
AB2X4
Magnetite7.2.2.3Fe2+Fe3+2O4
Group 14 - ANHYDROUS NORMAL CARBONATES
A(XO3)
Cerussite14.1.3.4PbCO3
Siderite14.1.1.3FeCO3
Group 16a - ANHYDROUS CARBONATES CONTAINING HYDROXYL OR HALOGEN
Azurite16a.2.1.1Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Malachite16a.3.1.1Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Group 71 - PHYLLOSILICATES Sheets of Six-Membered Rings
Sheets of 6-membered rings with 2:1 layers
Muscovite71.2.2a.1KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Talc71.2.1.3Mg3Si4O10(OH)2
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Quartz75.1.3.1SiO2
Group 76 - TECTOSILICATES Al-Si Framework
Al-Si Framework with Al-Si frameworks
Orthoclase76.1.1.1K(AlSi3O8)
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Chert'-
'Chlorite Group'-
'Dacite'-
'Feldspar Group'-
Muscovite
var: Sericite
-KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Quartz
var: Chalcedony
-SiO2
'Rhyolite'-
'Sandstone'-
'Siltstone'-
'Slate'-
'Tuff'-

List of minerals for each chemical element

HHydrogen
H AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
H MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
H MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
H Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
H TalcMg3Si4O10(OH)2
CCarbon
C AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
C CerussitePbCO3
C MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
C SideriteFeCO3
OOxygen
O AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
O CerussitePbCO3
O Quartz (var: Chalcedony)SiO2
O CupriteCu2O
O MagnetiteFe2+Fe23+O4
O MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
O MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
O QuartzSiO2
O Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
O SideriteFeCO3
O TalcMg3Si4O10(OH)2
MgMagnesium
Mg TalcMg3Si4O10(OH)2
AlAluminium
Al MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Al OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
Al Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
SiSilicon
Si Quartz (var: Chalcedony)SiO2
Si MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
Si QuartzSiO2
Si Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
Si TalcMg3Si4O10(OH)2
SSulfur
S BournonitePbCuSbS3
S ChalcociteCu2S
S ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
S CovelliteCuS
S GalenaPbS
S LinnaeiteCo2+Co23+S4
S PyriteFeS2
S SphaleriteZnS
S TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
KPotassium
K MuscoviteKAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
K OrthoclaseK(AlSi3O8)
K Muscovite (var: Sericite)KAl2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2
FeIron
Fe ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Fe MagnetiteFe2+Fe23+O4
Fe PyriteFeS2
Fe SideriteFeCO3
Fe TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
CoCobalt
Co LinnaeiteCo2+Co23+S4
CuCopper
Cu AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Cu BournonitePbCuSbS3
Cu ChalcociteCu2S
Cu ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Cu CovelliteCuS
Cu CupriteCu2O
Cu MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
Cu TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
ZnZinc
Zn SphaleriteZnS
Zn TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
SbAntimony
Sb BournonitePbCuSbS3
Sb TetrahedriteCu6[Cu4(Fe,Zn)2]Sb4S13
PbLead
Pb BournonitePbCuSbS3
Pb CerussitePbCO3
Pb GalenaPbS

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: 3191737
Archean volcanic and intrusive rocks

Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)

Comments: Pilbara Craton

Lithology: 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]

Archean
2500 - 4000 Ma



ID: 900049
Whim Creek Group

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Whim Creek Group

Description: Shale, siltstone, sandstone, basalt, high-Mg basalt, volcaniclastics, wacke, conglomerate, dacite, rhyolite, metamorphosed semi-pelite.

Comments: argillaceous detrital sediment; igneous volcanic; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Argillaceous detrital sediment; 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

References

Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Lebel, A., Fallon, G. (date?), Geophysical Signature of the Mons Cupri VMS Deposits Western Australia, Dominion Mining Ltd, ASEG, 1994 (1), pp145-154
Venturex Resources Ltd (2010), 63% Jump in Ore Reserves at Mons Cupri VMS Deposit- ASX announcement, 09/09/2010
Venturex Resources Ltd (2016), Historical Data Highlights Potential for Additional Copper and Zinc Discoveries at Whim Creek -ASX announcement, 20/02/2016
Collins, P., Hooper, B., Cornellius, M. (2004), Mons Cupri Cu-Zn-Pb Deposit Pilbara Western Australia, CRC LEME, 2004
Collins, P.L.F., Marshall, A.E., Black, S., Pearden, P. (date?), Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide Deposits of the Archaean Western Pilbara Craton Northwestern Australia, Curtin University, School of Applied Geology, Mineral Deposits and Exploration Research Group
Huston, D.L. (2006), Mineralization and Regional Alteration at the Mons Cupri Stratiform Cu-Zn-Pb Deposit Pilbara Craton Western Australia, Mineralium Deposita, 41, pp17-32, 2006
Gibb-Maitland, A. (1908), The Geological Features and Mineral Resources of the Pilbara Goldfield, Geological Survey of Western Australia, State Government of Western Australia, 1908

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