|Latitude & Longitude (WGS84):||20° 55' 28'' South , 120° 12' 25'' East|
|Latitude & Longitude (decimal):||-20.92466,120.20720|
|Köppen climate type:||BWh : Hot deserts climate|
This is a gold mine approximately 50 kilometres (as the crow flies) north-east of Marble Bar, in the northern Gregory Ranges.
Gold was discovered at Bamboo Creek at a place then called Jarmans, by Tom Byass and his four companions. At the time they were pushing their wheelbarrows down from the Halls Creek goldfield in the Kimberley. The town was gazetted in 1895. There was enough activity in the area for the Western Australian Government to establish a battery in 1913, being the most northerly gold battery in the state. It was dismantled in 1962 after crushing a total of 58 450 tonnes of ore in its lifetime.
The area was active in the 1890's, 1970's, and from 1985 onwards. Since at least 2002, the mine has been operated by small gold producer Haoma Mining, with the intention of reprocessing the tailings from previous mining activity. At times during the past decade the mine has been placed on care and maintenance, due to difficulties in both evaluating the level of gold available, and problems with the processes of extracting the gold to an economic level.
Gold production at Bamboo is considered the second largest after Telfer in the Pilbara, however production in the Pilbara cannot compare to other areas of the state which are much higher.
At the time of writing (2012) these problems appear to have been overcome, and production is proceeding. A mine employee verbally advised me it will take nine years of reprocessing the tailings before the need to actively mine the deposit. The company has also sent ore through its processing plant from other nearby prospects it controls like Bulletin.
It took an interest for a time with the Mt Webber iron ore prospect, west of Marble Bar, before selling control of the iron ore component of this to Atlas Iron. It holds extensive leases around the Marble Bar region, including the historic Comet Mine, south of Marble Bar. Here it generously finances the operation of a small mineral specimen museum.
The present mining company has concentrated their attention on the tailings, rather than what's in ground. In June 2012 it announced trials showing it can extract 7.35 grams per tonne (g/t) of gold, and 11.24 g/t of palladium. It has also talked about silver extraction in the past.
Gold mineralisation in the Pilbara is thought to have occurred from two major events; a deformation event in 3400 Ma which show as gold veins in quartz running subparallel with the north-west trending fabric of the host Warrawoona Greenstone Belt; and 2900 Ma as a north-west and south-east convergence, shown as gold veins intersecting the main trend at a high angle resulting in deeply plunging northerly ore shoots.
The Bamboo Creek Member is overlain, and underlain by the Koongaling Volcanic Member. Bamboo Creek was once thought to be porphyry but this has been re-accessed. It is rhyolite, rhyodacite and dacite inflows, and subvolcanic intrusions, alkali feldspars, quartz phenocrysts, volcanic breccia, welded ignimbrite with accretionary lapilli and re-sedimented pyroclastic deposits, dated at 2766 Ma.
Mineralisation at Bamboo Creek is held in the Main Line Reef, and a series of bodies on cross-cut fractures, south-west of the Main Line. The cross-cuts lack though vein network envelopes and associated alteration.
It is part of a broad 11 kilometre long mineralised zone, containing multiple veins up to 2 metres wide. The veins are disrupted by cross faults, forming a series of parallel zones, separated by barren rock.
Commodity ListThis is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.
8 valid minerals.
Rock Types Recorded
Select Rock List TypeAlphabetical List Tree Diagram
Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.
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
3200 - 3600 Ma
|Archean volcanic rocks|
Age: Paleoarchean (3200 - 3600 Ma)
Comments: Pilbara Craton
Lithology: Mafic-ultramafic volcanic 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. 
3200 - 3600 Ma
Age: Paleoarchean (3200 - 3600 Ma)
Stratigraphic Name: Kelly Group
Description: Felsic tuffaceous sandstone, quartz sandstone, siltstone, shale, chert, banded iron formation, schist, tuff, conglomerate, rhyolite, basalt, serpentinised peridotite; local dolerite sills; intrusive porphyry and microgranite; metamorphosed
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).