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Bulong vermiculite deposit, Bulong Goldfield, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 30° 44' 58'' South , 121° 50' 7'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -30.74957,121.83534
GeoHash:G#: qdw9h6jyc
Locality type:Deposit
Köppen climate type:BSh : Hot semi-arid (steppe) climate

Discovered by Robert Load Cecil Jones in 1938. 40 acres. GML 14Y. The deposit is a short distance from Magnesite Creek, and the Bulong magnesite deposits, on the edge of Lake Yindarlgooda.

It is an un-broken solid body, with calcite veins and asbestos rock, the latter two species of no commercial value. The vermiculite is soft, greenish, and bedded with mica lenses. It has a green chloritic appearance.

E.S. Simpson states bright green vermiculite fills two veins, one 2 feet wide, the other 5 feet, and 10 feet apart in talc-carbonate rock. The green colour varies, in places being greenish-white. There is also thin films of a brittle greenish grey mineral, Simpson suspects is saponite.

When heated the vermiculite at Bulong expands to 15 times its original size, having a metallic lustre and pinkish silver colour.

Jones applied for a reward claim over the original lease in 1946, but the warden refused stating too much time had elapsed, and he should have made the claim in 1938.

97 tonnes was mined across 1939 to 1940, and a small amount in 1941, all sent to the Eastern States. No mining took place during the war years.

75 tonnes was extracted in 1948, with 5 tonnes sent to London from a shaft at the mine. A further 50 tonnes was sent shortly after for use in building construction.

The vermiculite had been sold to Non Porite Ltd Melbourne who stated the bulk shipment was of only fair quality. Hannans Brewery took 60 tonnes for insulation, Lake View and Star mine to clad a boiler and South Kalgurli mine to mix with cement, all the companies in Kalgoorlie. Vermiculite was also sold to Re-Nu Synthetic Products Pty Ltd Melbourne, and Newbolds Sydney.

The Mindat co-ordinates mark Magnesite Creek only, at the magnesite deposit, and therefore the co-ordinates are approximate and only denote the general area.

Mineral List

3 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

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]

2500 - 4000 Ma

ID: 833303
ultramafic and minor mafic rocks 74475

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Description: Tremolite-chlorite-talc amphibolite, metapyroxenite, pyroxenite, peridotite, serpentinite, ultramafic schists, komatiite, high-Mg basalt; also chalcedony, silica, jasper, silcrete, silica cap rock on ultramafic rocks

Comments: igneous ultramafic intrusive; meta-igneous ultramafic volcanic; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Igneous ultramafic intrusive; meta-igneous ultramafic volcanic

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]

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)
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1946), Reward Claim for Bulong Vermiculite Refused, 13/06/1946
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1948), Bulong Vermiculite, 21/07/1948
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1948), Bulong Vermiculite to be Used in House Construction. 50-Ton Parcel to be Sent to Britain, 03/02/1948
Great Southern Herald newspaper (Katanning) (1948), Strangest of Minerals. The Story of Vermiculite, 16/07/1948
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1939), Bulong Mineral. Possible Commercial Value, 18/03/1939
Kalgoorlie Miner newspaper (1939), Bulong Vermiculite. Test in Melbourne, 02/11/1939
Fisher, N.H. (1945), Notes on Bulong Vermiculite, Dept. of National Resources/Bureau of Geology Geophysics and Mineral Resources, Commonwealth of Australia, 1945
Simpson, E.S. (1952), Minerals of Western Australia, Geological Survey of Western Australia, 2nd ed., Vol 3, pp. 617, 1952

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