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Paratoo copper mine, Yunta, Olary Province, South Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 32° 40' 40'' South , 139° 19' 50'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -32.67778,139.33056
GeoHash:G#: r45n4e1qj
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BSk : Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate

Paratoo SI 5401
Record of Mines - Summary Card No:198 states:

"Location: 2 1/2 ml from. Paratoo R.S."
"Geology: Lode: quartz, malachite, azurite, iron oxide. Country rock: dolomite, sandstone."
"Workings: No. 1 vertical shaft 70 ft. No. 2 vertical shaft 70 ft. Over 12 shafts. Open cuts."
"Production: Pre 1900. Over 10 tons 20%.
1912-1967 357 tons (1966/6 160 tons 4%-5%)"

"History: The Paratoo copper deposit was discovered in 1888 when it was worked by a syndicate up to 1890. Two shafts were sunk during this period and several parcels of ore were despatched to Port Adelaide for treatment. The mine was reopened in 1899 for a short period and some good ore was raised. The Paratoo Mine was on section 135.
It was reworked from 1912 to 1926 during which time about 200 tons of ore was raised. Four mineral claims (No. 4806-9, 5320/1) were taken up in 1965 by Electro Winning P/L on this mine and others adjoining and large scale mining was commenced and was carried on for a number of years."

An old, rather small copper mine 30 km to the west of Yunta. Paratoo was known for very little other than sparse samples of copper minerals.
In 1998, a local collector, Mr. J. Toma, brought samples of an unknown blue mineral to Dr. Allan Pring at the South Australian Museum for identification. Studies by Pring & Kolitsch found it to be a then new species, which was later approved and named decrespignyite-(Y).
Since then further studies have identified to date numerous REE minerals including another TL species, paratooite-(La).
Many believe this locality still has the ability to produce yet more unusual and rare minerals, possibly even more TL species.
Hence, this locality is now known for a highly unusual assemblage of secondary REE and Cu-REE carbonate minerals.

Previously this mine was listed as North Mt Lofty Ranges. However, in order to keep consistently and order, including listings in popular (South Australian) publications, it is now listed as Olary Province.
Please contact me if you have any questions regarding this change.
Mark Willoughby.

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.

Mineral List

49 valid minerals. 2 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

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

Late Pleistocene
0.0117 - 0.126 Ma

ID: 915579
Pooraka Formation

Age: Pleistocene (0.0117 - 0.126 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Pooraka Formation

Description: Unconsolidated red-brown poorly-sorted clayey sand, gravel, conglomerate, breccia; as colluvial sheet wash, alluvial fan and residual lag; forms extensive, coalesced, low-angle fans, high-angle talus cones and scree slopes

Comments: regolith; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Regolith

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]

541 - 1000 Ma

ID: 3186197
Neoproterozoic sedimentary rocks

Age: Neoproterozoic (541 - 1000 Ma)

Comments: Adelaide Fold Belt

Lithology: Sandstone,shale,limestone,siltstone,tillite,dolomite

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]

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.


Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Gee, L.C.E. & Brown, H.Y.L., (1908), Record of The Mines of South Australia, 4th ed., Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia.
Record of Mines (1980), Summary Card No:198, Paratoo SI 5401
Noble R.J., Just J. and Johnson J. E., (1983), Catalogue of South Australian Minerals-1983, Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia.
K. Wallwork, U. Kolitsch, A. Pring and L. Nasdala (2002): Decrespignyite-(Y), a new copper yttrium rare earth carbonate chloride hydrate from Paratoo, South Australia. Mineralogical Magazine, 66, 181-188.
Pring, A., Wallwork, K., Brugger, J., Kolitsch, U. (2006): Paratooite-(La), a new lanthanum-dominant rare-earth copper carbonate from Paratoo, South Australia. Mineralogical Magazine, 70, 131-138.
Brugger, J., Ogierman, J., Pring, A., Waldron, H., Kolitsch, U. (2006): Origin of the secondary REE-minerals at the Paratoo copper deposit near Yunta, South Australia. Mineralogical Magazine, 70, 609-627.
Francis, G.L., (2011), Minerals from the Paratoo mining area, Yunta, South Australia. (self published).

Mineral and/or Locality  
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