Goongewa, Western Australia

Goongewa is a zinc mine located near Kunnarra in Western Australia. Through an intermediate we were able to arrange permission to mine minerals specimens for approximately two months. During this time we managed to remove about 10 tonnes of specimens, consisting of Calcite associated with Galena, Chalcopyrite, Marcascite. While there was potential to obtain many more specimens, mining restrictions and numerous blasting operations reduced the available time to access some of the cavities. In the photo below Taiyo Aldofus is in a giant 10 by 10 metre cavity surrounded by wonderful Calcite and Galena specimens. He had only a crow bar and 1 hour to remove what he could before they blasted the cavity.

The Goongewa deposit occurs in the hanging wall of the Cadjebut Fault at the boundary of the dolomitised and undolomitised carbonates. Sulphides form as cavity filling cements, and include sphalerite stalactites indication an open or gas filled space during near surface mineralisation. The orebody also contains calcite, zinc in sphalerite, lead in galena, pyrite, marcasite and significant silver values. The Goongewa orebody forms a series of irregular shaped pods, located 100-250 metres below the surface.

In 1996, an Australian mineral dealer was given one hour by the operators to retrieve specimens from a 10 x 10 metre calcite cavity lined with marcasite, before explosives were used to destroy the site. Older specimens may come labelled Twelve Mile Bore.

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