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Great Davenport Gold Mine, Kurundi Goldfield, Wauchope, Barkly Region, Northern Territory, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 20° 44' 45'' South , 134° 58' 31'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -20.746033586, 134.975345607


The Great Davenport gold mine is about 40 kilometres south-east of the Kurundi pastoral station homestead in rugged jumbled hills of the Murchison/Davenport Ranges. Access is very difficult.

The deposit was discovered in 1964 by local prospector Charles Priester. He then sold the leases to a syndicate consisting of G. Farrell, G. Burton, A.F. Campbell, and H.V. Leonard. Geopeko then tested the leases, and ones pegged nearby owned by other leaseholders, with an option to purchase. They came to the conclusion the deposit was uneconomic. A number of small pits remain at the site. No reliable production figures are available.

The quartz reef is near the intersection of a north north-east trending fault, with an arcurate anticlinal west north-west axis plunge.

Gold is found as secondary flake to one/eighth of an inch long on joint and fracture planes on otherwise barren white quartz, and primary coarse gold associated with fine grained pyrite, and oxidised pyritic boxworks, in a quartz vein, cutting the Kurinelli Sandstone. Rose, lemon-yellow, and grey quartz is also found in the ore zone. The gold distribution is highly erratic, mainly found at the south south-west end of the reef. Joints can be coated with kaolin. Red hematite gossanous material is found in a shallow gully, 350 feet south of the small open cut at the site by Geopeko, but later explorers stated the material was very minor.

The quartz veins are hosted by an uplifted wedge shaped block, caused by a steep dipping reverse fault. This fault anastromoses at the southern end, with smaller steeper dipping faults, shear, and small scale folding. To the north it narrows and pinches out as the marginal faults merge. The disturbed zone totalling 1900 feet, is transected by several small east-west faults.

The quartz veins are restricted to a shear in shale, with overlying and underlying sandstone. The shale is silty grey brown, and grey-green. The sandstone forms cliffs west and north of the prospect. Significant mineralisation is found in a section 100 feet long by 80 feet wide, to a depth of 20 feet, with patchy gold averaging 1.78 dwt.

About 500 metres to the west north-west is a small prospect called The Aztec, showing as a gossanous reef, with very minor gold. The prospect was discovered by Geopeko, but later explorers could not locate it.

Like many of the remote mines on the this gold field, finding the mine is for the adventurous, who are prepared to wreck a car, and possible walk part of the way. The usual warnings about safety in remote desert areas apply here. The following laborious instructions are based on maps and satellite images only.

The mine site is on the north-east border of the present Iytwelepenty/Davenport Ranges National Park. Access however is by heading south from the east-west Kurundi-Epenarra (Wutunugurra) Road, or east from the Epenarra (Wutungurra)-Hatches Creek Road. The key is to find the Kurinelli mining centre, largely marked by a water tank and cattle yards. From this radiates at least eight tracks, making this one of the more challenging locations to find. Probably the easiest out of several options is to head south from Epenarra, and turn onto a west south-west track just before the Frew River crossing. Whether these tracks are open to public vechiles is unknown. From the cattle yard go south-east 100 metres, then the track branching south. All territory so far covered is flat. There will be a creek crossing, the track turns south-west, and after a couple of kilometres it turns sharply south again. However continue straight on along a faint poorly maintained track. This continues south-west, then west into low hills, progressively becoming more diabolical. At the fork take the left track a relatively short distance to the mine. The right fork may go to the Aztec prospect.

Mineral List


5 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.

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The above list 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

Cruikshank, B.I., Hoatson, D.M., Pyke, J.G. (1993), A Stream-Sediment Geochemical Orientation Survey of the Davenport Province. Northern Territory, Journal of Australian Geology and Geophysics, Commonwealth of Australia, (14), pp 77-95, 1993

Williams, B.T. (1964), Report on the Gold Prospects of the Kurundi Goldfield, Geopeko Ltd, December 1964

Williams, B. (date?), Report on the Great Davenport Prospect. Kurundi Goldfield, Geopeko Ltd

Yeaman, W.S. (1965), Geological Report on the Great Davenport Gold Prospect, Department of National Development/Bureau of Mineral Resources Geology and Geophysics, Commonwealth of Australia, Record 1965/112, 1965

 
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