Friendly Creek Goldfield, Mugarinya Community (Yandearra; Yandeearra; Yandeyarra), Port Hedland Shire, Western Australia, Australia
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|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||21° 14' 40'' South , 118° 19' 43'' East|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||-21.24455,118.32856|
|Locality type:||Ore Field|
|Köppen climate type:||BWh : Hot deserts climate|
Located approximately 10 kilometres east of the Mugarinya Community. Permission is needed from the community to visit the area. Like many small mining centres, the historic information is limited, due to the remote nature of the locations.
The goldfield was mainly alluvial with little gold from quartz mined. Some copper is also known. Total production is unknown as records were not kept before 1897, and most alluvial gold was not reported anyway.
A. Villars found a 127 ounce nugget in November 1888, shortly after the field was discovered, being the first large nugget found in Western Australia. Samuel Willocks found a 165 ounce nugget in 1892.
Bobby Williams was reported to have found a 400 ounce nugget in 1902, until a closer look revealed the information said 40 ounce. Sixty men are reported on the field at this time, with no provisions, no water, and generally no gold, as the field was either large slugs or nothing. Minor activity occurred in the early 1930's, but a lack of water and remoteness discouraged many.
J.H. Harris formed a syndicate over Friendly Creek itself, just downstream from its junction with Browns and Sandy Creek after panning for gold and finding colour. These leases were taken under option by Goldfields Australian Development Company, but no more is heard.
Utah Development Company explored the area in the early to mid 1970's. An aboriginal reserve was then established, with a moratorium on mineral exploration. This was only lifted in 1998, the Farno group pegging some leases, then Bullion exploring. De Grey Mining then explored the area in 2008.
Modern exploration has focussed on two regional scale north-east trending shear zones in the area, the John Bull and Pilbara Well shear zones. John Bull strikes for 7 kilometres, while the Pilbara Well Shear Zone is a length of 21 kilometres, on the south-east margin of the Pilbara Well Greenstone Belt. Most of the historic workings are on these shears, except a third group, west of the John Bull Shear Zone, containing Foochow, Hong Kong and Empress historic mines. Gold is found in quartz veins in the shear zones are east north-east trending, or at the contact between the greenstone and Yule Granitoid Complex.
The goldfield straddles the Central Pilbara Tectonic Zone, and East Pilbara Granite Greenstone Terrane. The goldfield sits in the Pilbara Well Greenstone Belt, consisting of basalts, ultramafics, and silicified sediments which have undergone deformation and metamorphics. This in turn is overlain by cherts of the Cleaverville Formation. The greenstone belt has suffered late stage brittle deformation resulting in a series of north-east trending faults with dextral effects.
Government geologist, E.S. Simpson visited the area in the early 20th century, and made the following comments about species observed. He notes small amounts of galena, anglesite, and cerussite in the auriferous gold reefs. Chalcocite, chalcopyrite and malachite is also found in the gold bearing quartz veins. One wall of a galena lode carries stringers and bunches of chalcocite, malachite and bright green chrysocolla, but the exact location is unknown. Pyrite is said to be plentiful in the old workings. Quartz and chalcedony is common, with immense bands of yellow, brown and grey jasper.
Map- shows 2008 exploration camp site, next to water hole on Friendly Creek. Various minor workings (little more than scrapings in the ground or at best an old shaft) are scattered for several kilometres north and south.
Commodity ListThis is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded from this region.
Mineral ListMineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
18 valid minerals.
Rock Types Recorded
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Rock list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities
Select Rock List TypeAlphabetical List Tree Diagram
Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.
- Igneous rock
- Sedimentary rock and sediment
Localities in this RegionShow map
- Western Australia
- Port Hedland Shire
- Mugarinya Community (Yandearra; Yandeearra; Yandeyarra)
- Port Hedland Shire
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Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1902), The Alleged Friendly Creek Nugget a Hoax, 20/06/1902
The Pilbara Goldfield News newspaper (Marble Bar) (1902), Friendly Creek Diggings. Splendid Nuggets. One 400 Oz, 19/06/1902
De Grey Mining Limited (2007), De Grey Adds More VMS Prospective Ground to its Yandeyarra Project, 18/12/2007
De Grey Mining Limited (2008), High Grade Gold and Copper Results Define Further Targets at yandeyarra, 21/04/2008
Sunday Times newspaper (Perth) (1935), A Pilbara Property. Kalgoorlie-Boulder Syndicate's Operations, 24/02/1935
Sunday Times newspaper (Perth) (1935), Pilbara Mining. Options by London group, 12/05/1935
Simpson, E.S. (1928), Famous Mineral Localities: Wodgina North West Australia, American Mineralogist, Vol 13, pp 457-468, 1928