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Coppin Gap iron ore mine (Spinifex Ridge), Bamboo Creek District, East Pilbara Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 20° 53' 18'' South , 120° 5' 26'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -20.88859,120.09074
GeoHash:G#: qsm3htr7j
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

A lease was granted to Kallenia Mines Pty Ltd in 2003. Hibernia Mines Limited part purchased the lease in 2004. It then changed its name to Moly Metals Ltd and completed a full purchase of the lease in 2006.

The company opened an iron ore mine at the location in November 2010, extracting ore from pits called Auton, Auton North-East, Gallifrey and Dalek. Ore was trucked to Port Hedland.

The company sold the mine to Mineral Resources in 2013 for $32.3 million Australian. In a strange deal that was always likely to end in tears, an estimated $3 million was further due when the mine was exhausted. However the company only continued mining until early 2014, then claimed $4.9 million from Moly Metals, which ended in court. There is no mention of the mine on Mineral Resources website at the time of writing (2016), and it is assumed the mine is still in mothballs.

Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources 30 November 2012 is 5.5 Mt at 58% Fe.

The deposits are located in the Nimingarra Iron Formation of the Gorge Creek Group, bounded to the south by the Mount Edgar Batholith, and north by the Muccan Granitoid Complex.

The basal formation is the Duffer Formation of metamorphosed felsic volcanic rocks, with sub-ordinate fine grained amphibolite. Then the Apex Basalt, north facing pillowed mafic and ultramafic lavas 2 kilometres thick. Above this the Panorama Formation of discontinuous felsic volcanics and chert, then finally the Euro Basalt of metamorphosed pillowed tholeiitic and high Mg basalts and peridotitic komatiites. This is intercalated with thin bedded cherts, fuchsitic quartzites, and minor pelitic rocks.

Above this is the Nimingarra Iron Formation. At its base is pebble to cobble conglomerate grading upwards to sandstone, siltstone and shale. Then the disposition of banded iron formation, jaspilite, banded and Fe chert, and black carbonaceous shale.

The deposits are structurally complex with disconformities and disposition of sedimentary facies along growth structures. Early extensions have formed listric normal growth faults, and low angle detachment shear zones. The deposits sit in an upright to slightly overturned synclorium, wedged between the Coppin Gap Grandiorite to the south, and Muccan Granitoid Complex to the north.

The banded iron units strike east-west, dipping 70 to 90 degrees north. The lode style hematite is cross cut by north-west and north-east trending faults. Shear zones contain serpentine, talc, chlorite, carbonate and silica.

The deposits are hosted by jaspillitic banded iron formation, iron poor banded iron formations, and rare chert and shale. Alteration is not widespread apart from minor leaching forming a pale pink mudstone. Oxide mineralisation is hematite, goethite and limonite. No magnetite has been found. The gangue is silica and some clay.

The lode style mineralisation is massive hematite, vuggy and porous, lacking coherent banding. Specular hematite sometimes forms in the massive hematite. 55-58% Fe. Crustal style mineralisation forms well banded textures, highly fissile, lacks brecciation and re-cementation. Detrital style mineralisation is limited in extent consisting of re-cemented hematite fragments.

Commodity List

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Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities

5 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

3200 - 3600 Ma

ID: 792366
Kelly Group

Age: Paleoarchean (3200 - 3600 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Kelly Group

Description: Felsic tuffaceous sandstone, quartz sandstone, siltstone, shale, chert, banded iron formation, schist, tuff, conglomerate, rhyolite, basalt, serpentinised peridotite; local dolerite sills; intrusive porphyry and microgranite; metamorphosed

Comments: sedimentary; igneous volcanic; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Sedimentary; 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]

3200 - 3600 Ma

ID: 3191854
Archean volcanic rocks

Age: Paleoarchean (3200 - 3600 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]

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

Localities in this Region
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Moly Metals Ltd (2012), Spinifex Ridge Iron Ore Project Western Australia. NI43-101 Updated Technical Report Spinifex Ridge Iron Reserve 30 November 2012
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (2015), MinRes in Legal Claim Against Moly, 29/12/2015

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