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Brook's Hill diamonds, Nullagine, East Pilbara Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 21° 52' 50'' South , 120° 6' 11'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -21.88049,120.10303
GeoHash:G#: qsj7t0b2g
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate


In 1895, while searching for gold, one of the Brook brothers discovered several diamonds here. Eight ended up being donated to the Western Australian Museum, however four of them were stolen from a display case in 1918. Those not donated were sent to London, and declared marketable.

The area was being developed by prospectors for gold which was being shed out of a conglomerate formation. This formation was also shedding diamonds, and a large number were found over the years inamongst the gold crushings. The miners would place the stone in an anvil, then give it a solid whack with a hammer to determine if it was a diamond or not.

In 1896, A.W. Hassell purchased a large and valuable diamond and three smaller ones. Fred Groom from the Mines Department arrived and spent one day panning ore being crushed in a battery, and recovered nine small stones, the four largest in total accounting for one carat. They were the size of pinheads to peppercorns, one bright yellow.

Around the same time, a digger named Nicol found a 2.5 carat diamond. Geologist Colin Fraser examined a 3.5 carat diamond. The Reward Claim 61 uncovered twenty-five small diamonds, along with 571.60 tonnes of ore and 330 ounces of gold.

A wild diamond pegging rush occurred in 1898, when news leaked South African diamond expert, Spiro Achimovich was on his way to peg several leases for Perth based Lady Forrest Syndicate. Achimovich found several diamonds on the hills and creeks shed from the conglomerate, but within months had quietly abandoned the enterprise.

Between 1901 to 1903, diamonds were found worth 2011 pounds in early 1900's figures.

In fact over the decades several hundred small diamonds have been found in the region, although the number will never be known for certain. The vast majority are likely never to be large enough to be included in jewellery. No-one has thought of selling them as specimens either. I am reminded at this point of a gemstone miner, another region and species, who laughed when I suggested this, after he found his gemstones worthless for jewellery. I was told there was no market for specimens.

The area of interest is one to two kilometres north north-west of the Nullagine town site, matching the goldfield here. Diamonds have been found inamongst conglomerate crushings for gold, on the flats beneath the hills when old timers were dryblowing the gravels also for gold, and in creeks. Due to the size of the stones described, the writer thinks they would be easily missed.

The Brockman Dyke, found south of Marble Bar (see Mindat locality), may explained diamonds found shed along drainage patterns in this area, but they do not account for the origin of diamonds in the Nullagine area.

Like much of the goldfields around Nullagine, it has been bulldozed to within an inch of its life by modern miners and exploration companies, destroying the old workings. It is an area of jumbled hills, with much disturbed ground and mining roads. Presently the leases are active for gold exploration (2016).

The map denotes the goldfield in general, which covers about 160 acres.

Few are aware diamonds are found at Nullagine. The community has done little to promote gold and diamonds to tourists, has no control over the leases, or the damage done to old workings.


Mineral List


2 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

Neoarchean
2500 - 2800 Ma



ID: 3186668
Archean sedimentary and volcanic rocks

Age: Neoarchean (2500 - 2800 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Fortescue Group

Comments: Pilbara Craton

Lithology: Mafic volcanic rocks; shale

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: 840068
Mosquito Creek Formation

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Mosquito Creek Formation

Description: Lower part: interbedded conglomerate, massive coarse-grained sandstone, siltstone and shale: Upper part: thinly bedded sandstone interbedded with siltstone and shale; metamorphosed.

Comments: sedimentary siliciclastic; argillaceous detrital sediment; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Sedimentary siliciclastic; argillaceous detrital sediment

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



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)
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1915), Gold and Diamonds. Nullagine Mineral Area, 11/06/1915
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1954), Nullagine Diamond Prospects Glitter Then Fade Away, 24/06/1954
The Advertiser newspaper (Adelaide) (1936), Attempted Revival of Old Field. Nullagine Conglomerates Proposal, 21/04/1936
Gibb-Maitland, A. (1908), The Geological Features and Mineral Resources of the Pilbara Goldfield, Geological Society of Western Australia, State Government of Western Australia, 1908
The Inquirer and Commercial News newspaper (Perth) (1899), The Nullagine District. Gold and Diamonds, 03/02/1899

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