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Bonnievale Gold Mine (Westralia; Varischetti), Coolgardie, Coolgardie Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 30° 51' 44'' South , 121° 9' 30'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -30.86242,121.15847
GeoHash:G#: qdw0mj8vk
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BSh : Hot semi-arid (steppe) climate


My belief is this is referring to an abandoned goldfield, 14 kilometres north of Coolgardie, although gold is not listed for the location on Mindat. The writer visited the location in 1980 ( a long time ago), and it was a collection of shafts, mullock piles and diggings, spread over several acres, immediately south of the Trans Australian Railway Line.

The goldfield is named after a prospector called Bonnie, who discovered the site, after picking up a 7oz nugget in May or June 1894.

In the public domain, it appears to only be remembered for a famous mine rescue in 1907. On March 19 1907, a thunderstorm hit the goldfield, and the Westralia Mine was flooded. 160 men working underground scrambled to safety. One, Modesto Varischetti, was left behind. Initially he was given up for dead, but then tapping could be heard. Pumping equipment was rushed to the site, but the estimated time of one week to clear the water, there was little hope for his survival. Modesto was trapped at the 1000ft level.

The son of the mine manager suggested divers, and two were brought in from Kalgoorlie. The only air hose long enough was in Fremantle, 560 kilometres away, and the State Government ordered a special train delivery of the hose to Coolgardie. At the time, it set a world record pace over the distance.

The divers were Frank Hughes and Thomas Hearn; and the rescue was organised by mine engineer Herbert Hoover, who was to later become President of the United States.

Several dives were made starting on day 4 of the emergency. The divers reached Modesto, who had survived in an air pocket, on day 6. Essential supplies were delivered to him. On day 9, enough water had been pumped out, for Modesto to be guided by the divers through waist to neck high water, and knee deep sludge to the surface.

Modesto eventually went back to work, and died aged 57 from fibrosis, another danger to miners.

A plaque marks the site.

While I believe no town remains at the site, the Bonnievale Tavern was reconstructed at Westonia around 1910, and now operates as the Westonia Tavern. Westonia is 75 kilometres west of Southern Cross, at the Edna May Gold Mine.

The quartz at the site is hard, white, or glassy, with very minor sulphides including galena. Mineralisation is in laminated quartz reefs in biotite granulite, intruded by ultramafic rocks, locally schistose near the granite contacts. The reefs run parallel to the regional rock, dip steeply north-east, except one reef which strikes north, dipping shallowly east.


Commodity List

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


Mineral List


12 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Note: this is a very new system on mindat.org and data is currently VERY limited. Please bear with us while we work towards adding this information!

Select Rock List Type

Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

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

Archean
2500 - 4000 Ma



ID: 847486
Bonnie Vale Tonalite

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Bonnie Vale Tonalite

Description: Tonalite; mafic granite.

Comments: igneous felsic intrusive; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Igneous felsic intrusive

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]

Neoarchean - Mesoarchean
2500 - 3200 Ma



ID: 3187518
Archean volcanic rocks

Age: Archean (2500 - 3200 Ma)

Comments: Yilgarn Craton

Lithology: Greenstone belt; 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. [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.

References

Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Witt, W.K., Knight, J.T., Mikucki, E.J. (1997) A Synmetamorphic lateral fluid flow model for gold mineralization in the Archean southern Kalgoorlie and Norseman Terranes Western Australia, Economic Geology, 92:407-437.
Mock, C.M., Elliott, B.G., Ewers, G.R., Lorenz, R.P. (1987) Gold deposits of Western Australia, Resource Report 3, Department of Primary Industries and Energy, Bureau of Natural Resources, Geology and Geophysics, Commonwealth Government of Australia.

External Links


 
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