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Mallina Gold Mine, Mallina Station, Port Hedland Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 20° 52' 44'' South , 118° 2' 17'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -20.87891,118.03806
GeoHash:G#: qs7cnp0ew
Locality type:Mine
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

The Withnells were some of the early pastoral pioneers in the Roebourne district. They had established the Mallina Station. Seventeen old Jimmy Withnell, was returning to camp, when he spied a crow on his lunchbox. He picked up a stone to throw at it, realised it was heavier than normal, and on inspection found it was gold. It was one of the first gold discoveries in the Pilbara region around 1888.

News of the discovery caused much excitement in Roebourne, and the government official sent off a telegraph message stating ' Jimmy threw a stone at a crow' but forgot to add anymore information. The reply was ' Really? What happened to the Crow?'.

There are two deposits. From the homestead, one 500 metres north by the creek, and another 300 metres north-east just past the air strip. Both show a concentrated area of old diggings.

Soon 150 miners were on the diggings and a small shanty town developed.
Apart from the Withnells who held the reward lease, prospectors called Palmer and Martin appeared to obtain the best leases. The Alfred Argles Gold Mining Company was formed in Sydney. It may have been named after a mining engineer of the time, but is unconfirmed. A two stamp battery was erected but their pumping equipment could not keep the workings unflooded and the mine suddenly shut.

Some of the leases were consolidated and the Mallina Gold Mining Company was floated in Glasgow in 1893 with 100 000 pounds capital. Due the areas remoteness there were some delays in getting the 10 head mill to the site and erected, which was done in 1895. They controlled 6 leases covering 79 acres, including the original Mallina mine held by the Withnells, Mallina Extended both 24 acres. This enterprise only lasted another year or two, and it appears to have been the haunt of the lone occasional prospector thereafter. It proximity to the station homestead means no development has taken place since.

It was described at the time as a flat reef with specimen stone, running east-west, dipping north 65 degrees, averaging 4.5 feet wide, with well defined walls. The surrounding country was clay-slate, with the reef in volcanic porphyrite, very decomposed at the surface.

Six shafts had been sunk, the main to 100 feet, with four connected at the water level. The gold was fine and rarely visible to the naked eye, in a white quartz reef containing patches of stibnite.

The government geologist Woodward visited in 1888. He states there is a large white quartz and largely barren reef going east-west along the top of a ridge, and a second smaller reef following the contours of the hill on the south side, extremely rich in gold. The prospector Martin was on a parallel small quartz outcrop to the north, as two veins joined together, one gold rich on the Hanging Wall. Martin's lode had a strike length of 1200 feet, trending north-west to south-east, dipping 70 degrees north, 6 to 8 feet wide. Five miles further east was another lease held by Wells and Co as a small reef 2 to 3 feet wide, containing more stibnite than gold.

Government geologist, Gibb-Maitland, on visiting in 1908, stated there was much solid dense stibnite on the dumps, its outer areas oxidised to cervantite and valentinite found in bunches. The station owners in 1903, sent 22 tonnes of ore to England, and then 7 tonnes in 1907, but its antimony value had been lower than expected due to the silica content, and the sale did not meet expenses.

Commodity List

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

Mineral List

6 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

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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

2500 - 4000 Ma

ID: 738102
Mallina Formation

Age: Archean (2500 - 4000 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Mallina Formation

Description: Interbedded metamorphosed shale, siltstone, sandstone, and medium to fine grained wacke; minor layers of chert; may contain gabbroic intrusions

Comments: argillaceous detrital sediment; feldspar- or lithic-rich arenite to rudite; synthesis of multiple published descriptions

Lithology: Argillaceous detrital sediment; feldspar- or lithic-rich arenite to rudite

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]

2800 - 3200 Ma

ID: 3191839
Archean sedimentary rocks

Age: Mesoarchean (2800 - 3200 Ma)

Comments: Pilbara Craton

Lithology: Sedimentary 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, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on 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 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)
Shire of Roebourne, LGHI Place Record Form. Place 29 Mallina Station.
The Inquirer and Commercial News newspaper (Perth) (1895) The Mallina Gold Mine, 26/04/1895.
Bunbury Herald newspaper (1893) Mallina Gold Mining Co., 29/11/1893.
The Inquirer and Commercial News newspaper (Perth) (1894) The Mallina Gold Mine, 16/12/1894.
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1935) Cossack Gold, 04/07/1935.
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1895) The Mallina Gold Mine, 23/08/1895.
Western Mail newspaper (Perth) (1893) The Mallina Mining Centre. The History of Mallina, 04/11/1893.
Stubbs, B.J. (2008) Sunbeam from Cucumbers: An Early Twentieth Century Gold From Sea Water Extraction Scheme in Northern New South Wales, Australian Historical Archaeology, 26, 2008.
The West Australian newspaper (Perth) (1888) The Mallina Reefs. The Government Geologist's Report, 04/07/1888.
Maitland, A. Gibb (1908) The Geological Features and Mineral Resources of the Pilbara Goldfield, Geological Survey of Western Australia, State Government of Western Australia. Reprint of Bulletins 15, 20 & 23.
Maitland, A. Gibb (1919) The Antimony Deposits of Western Australia, Geological Survey of Western Australia, State Government of Western Australia.

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