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Mount Lyell Mines, Queenstown district, West Coast municipality, Tasmania, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 42° 3' 56'' South , 145° 34' 15'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -42.06578,145.57097

A large group of operating and abandoned, open cut and underground copper-silver-gold mines, near Queenstown. They started in about 1885 by the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway company which operated until 1994 when, after a short closure, a new operator (Copper Mines of Tasmania) resumed operations to this time. In the 100 plus years of the original operations, over 120 million tonnes of ore was produced from several open cut and underground workings. The main mine is the Prince Lyell mine, but the North Lyell mine was of great importance also.

The Mt Lyell copper-gold mines produce some excellent crystallised specimens of chalcopyrite, quartz, haematite, dolomite-ankerite and other minerals, particularly in late stage veins. They also contain some rare minerals such as mawsonite, betekhtinite, florencite, woodhouseite, hessite, jalpaite, magnesiofoitite, zunyite, and stromeyerite. The deposits are generally considered to be of Cambrian volcanic origin, but the occurrence of more typically granite-related minerals like topaz, tourmaline, fluorite, mawsonite and stannoidite, and the late stage, mineralised but undeformed veins, indicates the input of either Cambrian or Devonian granitic influence on the ores, plus local remobilisation during Devonian deformation.

Mineral List

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

94 valid minerals. 1 (TL) - type locality of 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.

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Furongian - Series 3
485.4 - 509 Ma
felsic to intermediate volcanics 37497

Age: Cambrian (485.4 - 509 Ma)

Description: Felsic to intermediate volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks. Some intrusive rocks

Comments: igneous felsic-intermediate volcanic; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Igneous felsic-intermediate 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]

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

Localities in this Region


This page contains all mineral locality references listed on 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 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.


Petterd, W.F. (1910) Catalogue of the Minerals of Tasmania, 1910, p. 22, no. 39.

Blainey, G. (1954) The Peaks of Lyell. Parkville Vic., Melbourne University Press. 3rd ed., 341pp.

Bothwell, D.I. and Moss, A.A. (1957) The nature of batchelorite. Mineralogical Magazine, vol. 31, n° 239, 700 (referring to Petterd (1910))

Hills, P.B. (1990) Mount Lyell copper-gold-silver deposits. In: Hughes, F.E. (ed.) (1990) Geology of the mineral deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Monog. 16. Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Melbourne. 1257-1267.

Corbett, K.D. (2001) New mapping and interpretations of the Mount Lyell Mining district, Tasmania: a large hybrid Cu-Au system with an exhalative Pb-Zn top. Economic Geology 96, 1089-1122.

Bottrill, R. and Olubas, P. (2007) The Mt. Lyell Mines. Australian and New Zealand Mineral Collector magazine, Issue 4. (

Corbett, K.D. (2014) The Mount Lyell Field. In: Geological Evolution of Tasmania, (eds. Corbett, K.D., Quilty, P.G. and Calver, C.R.) Geological Society of Australia special Publication N° 24, pp. 193-198.

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