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Maitland Mines, Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay District, Eastern Cape, South Africai
Regional Level Types
Maitland MinesGroup of Mines
Port Elizabeth- not defined -
Nelson Mandela Bay DistrictDistrict
Eastern CapeProvince
South AfricaCountry

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 33° 57' 43'' South , 25° 17' 6'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -33.96194,25.28500
GeoHash:G#: k9cyz37vr
Area:1.0 km2
Locality type:Group of Mines
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate
Nearest Settlements:
Uitenhage228,912 (2012)25.0km
Port Elizabeth967,677 (2018)30.4km

Probably the first occurrence to be prospected is that known as the Maitland Mines in the Division of Uitenhage. According to F.L. Amm there are records of analyses of the ore of these deposits dating as far back as 1792. Henry Lichtenstein visited the deposits in 1805 and they were also examined at the time when General Jansens was Governor of the Cape. In 1856 they were reported on by A. Wyley, who found that there had been a considerable amount of underground exploration without any apparent measure of success. The deposits were again actively prospected in 1924 and 1925 and intermittently in a smaller way up to 1931. Most of the workings encountered small veins and narrow beds of rock impregnated with ore, but never revealed a lode or large body of the ore sufficiently remunerative to warrant working it. The structure of the bluish dolomitic limestone, which is the main ore-bearing formation, is that of a simple syncline, both limbs of which dip towards the river. The trough of the syncline was considered to be a likely spot for developement of a large ore-body and many deep borings were made, but to no avail. The ore consists of argentiferous galena, chalcopyrite and chalcocite with malachite and azurite, in irregular stringers and elongate nodules. The association of ore with irregular veins of calcite in the dolomitic limestone indicates developement of minerals along zones of crush.

Regions containing this locality

African PlateTectonic Plate

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Mineral List

17 valid minerals.

Detailed Mineral List:

Formula: CaCO3
Habit: botryoidal, acicular
Colour: whitish.
Description: aragonite is rarely found in the mines, hidden in mine 2 there is an area where minor aragonite stalactites can be found, there is also an area in mine two where one can see unreachable broccoflower formation, a digging close to that area revealed some pieces that had acicular crystals and bortyoidal masses.
Reference: collected by Reinhardt van Vuuren in 2014.
Formula: Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Habit: poorly formed crystal shapes in cavities.
Colour: blue to black
Fluorescence: no
Description: microscopic crystal surfaces associated with Malachite, general quality is poor with only few micro sized samples showing dark to medium blue crystals growing parallel to the matrix.
Reference: Personally collected by Reinhardt van Vuuren in 2014
Formula: TiO2
Habit: Bladed crystals with single directional striations.
Colour: Transparent pale rust orange.
Description: Crystals could only be viewed under microscope. Occurred on minor quartz crystals with a schist matrix. The specimen was unfortunately destroyed during the trimming process so I need to return the the area in hopes of finding more. The specimen was found half way between the mines and the area where the hematite and chlorite was found along the river on a schist outcrop.
Reference: Reinhardt van Vuuren Collected in 2015
Formula: CaCO3
Habit: Dogtooth
Colour: white
Fluorescence: no
Description: Specimens are small with the biggest crystals maxing out at about 2mm. Most crystals are "dirty" some wash white. In October 2014 a friend of mine showed me a part of mine 2 which I had thought to be inaccessible, here we managed to salvage two beautiful samples of calcite crystals that far out shine any previous finds (at this mine) however these two +-3cm samples were the only samples to be found here and that source is now depleted.
Reference: Personally collected by Reinhardt van Vuuren in 2014.
Formula: PbCO3
Habit: bladed crystals
Colour: transparent
Description: found as a secondary mineral associated with galena and pyrite in a dolomite matrix.
Reference: Reinhardt van Vuuren collected in 2014
Formula: Cu2S
Habit: massive
Colour: grey, silver, iridescent
Description: chalcocite is the matrix in which the best malachite can be found in this locality, there is only one seam close to the entrance of mine 2 on your immediate left. the seam consists of massive material and no crystals of chalcocite have yet been found.
Reference: The mineral resources of the union of south africa 1959
Formula: CuFeS2
Colour: iridescent
Description: So far I have only found one area where chalcopyrite can be found, this is at the base of mine 2 at the point where it splits left, on the corner there is a vein of quartz where minor samples with iridescent surfaces, it is associated with possible aurichalcite.
Reference: The mineral resources of the union of South Africa of 1959
'Chlorite Group'
Habit: Worm like inclusions in Quartz and green sheets
Colour: green
Fluorescence: no
Description: chloride is found as massive material on the river banks, when associated with quartz it usually inter grows into the crystals causing black looking crystals full of chloride "worms"
Reference: Personally collected by Reinhardt van Vuuren in 2014
Formula: Cu
Habit: fine layers on Matrix
Colour: bright yellow
Fluorescence: no
Description: found in seam with Malachite and Azurite
Reference: Personally collected by Reinhardt van Vuuren in 2014
Formula: PbS
Colour: grey, silver
Description: I have been to the mines 4 or 5 times before finding any galena at the site, this was however finally found outside the mine in the pathway where heavy rains have washed away the top soil that was covering some rock that must have been dropped by the miners at that time. There is no trace of galena in the actual mine itself. The galena is found in lumps of dolomite, after some acid soaking I found that there is some quartz in the mix too. To date only one tiny vug with microscopic crystals has been found, all the rest has been massive material.
Reference: Minerals of South Africa, Reinhardt also collected in 2014.
Formula: α-Fe3+O(OH)
Habit: botryoidal masses
Colour: black
Description: Mine 3 is a long tunnel with cavities of goethite lining the walls and ceiling throughout.
Reference: Self collected by Reinhardt van Vuuren in 2015
Formula: Fe2O3
Habit: Thin interlocking seams or loose iron rose blades
Colour: black
Description: Hematite from this locality is found >1km up stream from the mines on the river bank. The first small seam we found was on the left just after a swimming whole, the seam was thin and produced only low quality shards, To the immediate right from this location there is a small quartz outcrop where some minor "iron rose" blades can be found in quartz.
Reference: Reinhardt van Vuuren collected in 2014
Formula: (Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Habit: cubic
Colour: black
Fluorescence: no
Description: Psudomorphs after Pyrite.
Reference: Personally collected by Reinhardt van Vuuren in 2014
Formula: Cu2(CO3)(OH)2
Habit: Acicular and tabular
Colour: green
Fluorescence: no
Description: all Malachite from this site is Micro, quality of the malachite is rather attractive under magnification, there is currently only one vein at this site that I am aware of that has Malachite and azurite in a grey metallic matrix of chalcocite.
Reference: Personally collected by Reinhardt van Vuuren in 2014
Formula: FeS2
Colour: golden
Fluorescence: no
Description: All pyrite from this site that I have found so far has been in the process of psudomorphing to limonite and thus have a red/orange/black coating but this process is not yet complete as the crystals still display a golden pyrite hue when broken.
Reference: Personally collected by Reinhardt van Vuuren in 2014
Formula: Mn4+O2
Colour: silver
Description: 3 specimens know, this particular mineral was found outside the mine in the path way running past the mine, the matrix was goethite which would have come from mine 3 as it is the only mine where goethite is found in the area.
Reference: Personally collected in 2014 by Reinhardt van Vuuren
Formula: SiO2
Habit: Trigonal
Colour: clear to white
Fluorescence: no
Description: lots of tiny quartz crystals can be found in the area. Some rater interesting quartz has been found at the locality, there was one area on the river bank that produced a few crystals measuring about 10cm in length some had dark black/green chloride inclusions in, there are also a few pieces that had chloride schist scattered throughout the specimen. In mine 2 there is an area where quartz crystals can be found, they are mostly clear to milky, some have dendrites in them possibly from manganese oxides. There are also places where the crystals form in thin seams that appear to limit the growth of the crystals. Often these crystals will grow parallel but there are cases where the crystal grew up right and in this case the crystal just stops half way though as it intersects opposite side of the cavity.
Reference: Personally collected by Reinhardt van Vuuren in 2014
Formula: TiO2
Habit: needles in quartz
Colour: golden yellow
Description: The first sample of rutile was found by a friend of mine Johan, it was only a single needle in quartz found outside mine 2. For a long time no new crystals turned up, then we found two more pieces with needles in, after looking at these we thought that they could be crystallized goethite but we had no means of testing since there was no excess material and all existing material was in quartz, in 2015 a small pocket filled with these needles were found and an acid test showed no bubbling so the goethite theory was dropped and rutile accepted.
Reference: collected by Reinhardt van Vuuren in 2015
Formula: S8
Colour: yellow
Description: found in rocks in the pathway in front of the mines where pyrite has decomposed leaching out the sulphur, usually the sulphur is seen as only yellow stains in the matrix but on one or two samples minor crystallization is visible.
Reference: Reinhardt van Vuuren collected in 2014

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 1 - Elements
Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Group 4 - Oxides and Hydroxides
Group 5 - Nitrates and Carbonates
Unclassified Minerals, Rocks, etc.
'Chlorite Group'-

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Metals, other than the Platinum Group
Semi-metals and non-metals
Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 2:1
AmXp, with m:p = 1:1
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:1
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Group 75 - TECTOSILICATES Si Tetrahedral Frameworks
Si Tetrahedral Frameworks - SiO2 with [4] coordinated Si
Unclassified Minerals, Mixtures, etc.
'Chlorite Group'-

List of minerals for each chemical element

H MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
H Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
H AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
H Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
C MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
C CalciteCaCO3
C AragoniteCaCO3
C CerussitePbCO3
C AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
O MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
O QuartzSiO2
O Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
O CalciteCaCO3
O AragoniteCaCO3
O PyrolusiteMn4+O2
O CerussitePbCO3
O RutileTiO2
O AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
O HematiteFe2O3
O BrookiteTiO2
O Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
Si QuartzSiO2
S PyriteFeS2
S ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
S SulphurS8
S GalenaPbS
S ChalcociteCu2S
Ca CalciteCaCO3
Ca AragoniteCaCO3
Ti RutileTiO2
Ti BrookiteTiO2
Mn PyrolusiteMn4+O2
Fe PyriteFeS2
Fe Limonite(Fe,O,OH,H2O)
Fe ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Fe HematiteFe2O3
Fe Goethiteα-Fe3+O(OH)
Cu MalachiteCu2(CO3)(OH)2
Cu ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Cu AzuriteCu3(CO3)2(OH)2
Cu CopperCu
Cu ChalcociteCu2S
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

0 - 66 Ma

ID: 2231291
Algoa Group

Age: Cenozoic (0 - 66 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Algoa Group

Description: Calcareous sandstone, clastic limestone, conglomerate, coquinite

Reference: Council for Geoscience. Geologic map of South Africa, 1:1M. National Science Councils of South Africa. [41]

251.902 - 298.9 Ma

ID: 3189153
Paleozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Phanerozoic (251.902 - 298.9 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Karoo Supergroup

Comments: Karoo Basin

Lithology: Sedimentary 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]

Ordovician - Ediacaran
443.8 - 635 Ma

ID: 3310904

Age: Neoproterozoic to Ordovician (443.8 - 635 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary

Reference: Thiéblemont, D. (ed.). New edition of the 1:10,000,000 geological map of Africa. CGMW-BRGM. [190]

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


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van Vuuren, Reinhardt (2014), personal communication to Mindat.org.
The mineral resources of the union of south africa, department of mines, geological survey, 1959.

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