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Endeavor Mine (Elura Mine), Cobar, Robinson Co., New South Wales, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 31° 24' 19'' South , 145° 47' 49'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -31.4055100644, 145.796968524


A silver-lead-zinc-copper deposit discovered in 1974 was originally worked as the Elura mine but presently (2005) is worked as the Endeavor mine.
Located in Booroondarra Parish near Cobar.

Coordinates: 371700mE, 6551350mN.
A lenticular massive sulphide deposit.

The Endeavor zinc-lead-silver mine is located 43km NNW of Cobar. The mine contains two styles of mineralisation: above about 900m depth an irregular sub-vertical sheet is hosted by a turbidite sequence and broadly coincides with an anticline axial plane; at the bottom of this sheet mineralisation bifurcates into grossly concordant zones. These concordant zones are hosted by a shale-rich sequence and underlying limestone.

The Electrolytic Zinc Company of Australasia Ltd discovered the orebody in 1973. Initially a bullseye anomaly was identified in an aeromagnetic survey, with diamond drilling intersecting ore in 1974 (Schmidt 1989). Mine production from what was initially known as the Elura orebody began in 1983. In 1998 drilling beneath the mine at over 1000m below the surface intersected mineralisation close to the contact with limestone, which until that time, was not recognised as occurring in the mine area.
The current owners of the mine, CBH Resources Ltd, purchased the mine in 2003 and Production ramped up to 1.4MT per annum. At June 2005 the Endeavor Mine Resources totalled 17.7MT at 4.9%Pb, 8.7%Zn and 69g/tAg and Reserves 11MT at 4.5%Pb, 7.9%Zn and 66g/tAg. Mine production totals about 24MT.

The Endeavor mineralisation is contained within the Cobar Basin, which is in turn part of the Lachlan Fold Belt. Basement rocks include Ordovician sediments and Silurian granitic rocks. The basin contains mainly siliciclastic sediments with minor volcanic rocks and carbonates. Sedimentation continued from the Late Silurian until the Early Devonian. Polymetallic mineralisation within the Cobar Basin is thought to have coincided with a period of basin compression and folding (Lawrie and Hinman 1998). The mineralisation is largely discordant and vein or replacement in form. It is associated with silicic, carbonate and chlorite alteration. Most of the major known mineral deposits, including Endeavor, CSA, Peak and Hera are located along a linear structural corridor at least 200km in length (Figure 1). All of these major deposits are located adjacent to protrusions of basement into the Cobar Basin associated with gravity low anomalies. Most mineralisation is hosted by siliclastic marine turbidites.

High-grade massive sulphide mineralisation at Endeavor is enveloped by sulphide stringers, which are in turn enveloped by siderite alteration. The halo of siderite alteration extends for several tens of metres away from sulphide mineralisation and consists of 1 to 2mm diameter clots that preferentially replace sandy beds. Chloritic alteration also occurs.
Above about 900m depth the sulphide stringers form a large continuous lens or sheet which lies in an anticline axial plane. This lens ranges in thickness from 15 to 120m, extends from the surface to 900m at the S end of the mine, and has a strike length of at least 800m. At about 900m depth the mineralisation bifurcates into grossly concordant zones that dip down both the anticline limbs (Figure 2). The body of low-grade sulphides is open along strike in both directions (Figure 3) and down dip on both limbs. Sulphide minerals form two textures within the stringer zone. Stringers of sulphide generally sub-parallel slaty cleavage in the axial plane zone. The stringers are 5mm to 2m thick and mainly consist of pyrite, sphalerite, galena and chalcopyrite. Siliceous alteration sometimes accompanies the sulphide stringers, particularly in the upper parts of the mine. Similar stringers parallel to cleavage also occur in the concordant zones. However, in addition pyrite and base metal sulphides form conformable sulphide blebs that generally replace sandstone/siltstone beds and laminae. These blebs are preferentially distributed close to the cleavage-parallel stringers.

Mineral List


69 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.

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References

Byrnes, J.G. and Gilligan, L.B. (1995) Metallogenic Study and Mineral Deposit Data Sheets: Cobar Metallogenic Map (SH/55-14). Geological Survey of New South Wales.

Map sheets: Cobar 1:250 000 Metallogenic Map; SH 55-14, 8035-IV-S.

Lawrie, K.C. and Hinman, M.C. (1998) Cobar-Style Polymetallic Au-Cu-Ag-Pb-Zn deposits. AGSO Jour Aust Geol & Geophys, 17(4), 169-187.

Schmidt, D.L. (1989) Elura Zinc-Lead-Silver Mine Cobar. Geol. Soc. Aust. Cobar Field Meeting Oct 6-8, 1989.

Webster, A.E. and Lutherborrow, C. (1998) Elura zinc-lead-silver deposit, Cobar. In Geology of Australian and Papua New Guinea Mineral Deposits (Eds: D.A. Berkman and D.H. MacKenzie). 587-592 The Aus IMM Melbourne.

Gilligan, L.B. & Marshall, B. (1987) Textural evidence for remobilization in metamorphic environments. Ore Geology Reviews 2, 205-229.

Canning, W.R. (1988) Supergene mining at Elura. Underground Operators Conference, Mount Isa, Queensland, June. Australasian Institute ofMining & Metallurgy, Symposia Series 58,187-192.

Leahey, T.A. (1990) Grade trends at the Elura mine. In Mine Geologists' Conference, Mount Isa, October, pp 99-112. Australasian Institute ofMining and Metallurgy, Publication 7190, 173 pp.

Lawrie, K.C. (1991) Metal zoning and fluids in the Elura orebodies, N.S.W.: Implications for fonnation of syntectonic massive sulphide orebodies. Bureau of Mineral Resources, Australia, Record 1990/95, p.52.

Scott, K. M. (1994) Lead oxychlorides at Elura, western NSW, Australia.

Mineralogical Magazine 58, 336-338.

Mineralogical Record:20(5):393.

Chapman, J. & Scott, K. (2005) Supergene minerals from the oxidised zone of the Elura (Endeavor) lead-zinc-silver deposit. Australian Journal of Mineralogy, 11, 83-90.

Leverett, P., McKinnon, A. R., & Williams, P. A. (2005) Supergene geochemistry of the Endeavor ore body, Cobar, NSW, and relationships to other deposits in the Cobar basin. Regolith 2005–Ten Years of CRC LEME, 191-194.

David, V. (2008) Structural–geological setting of the Elura-Zn–Pb–Ag massive sulphide deposit, Australia. Ore Geology Reviews 34, 428-444.

Loidl, Gernot C. (2012) The Elura Orebody: a multidisciplinary study investigating geochemical mineralogical & geometallurgical ore characteristics. PhD thesis Adelaide University.

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