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Hit or Miss Mine (Hit or Miss Extended; Fortune; Reward; Hitler's Downfall; Ross'; Cadogan's), Hatches Creek Wolfram Field, Hatches Creek, Barkly Region, Northern Territory, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 20° 55' 42'' South , 135° 10' 44'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -20.928607287, 135.17911579

The Hit or Miss mine is in the southern section of the Hatches Creek wolfram field. To reach head south along a track opposite the Pioneer mine on the Kurundi Road (Binns Track). After about 5 kilometres, the track reaches the Hatches Creek itself, and proceeds south partly along the sandy creek bed (possibly boggy). At the second gully, take the track west, past the turn-offs north to the Hen and Chickens, White Diamond/Masters Gully, and Silver Granites mines. The track then turns north up a gully to the Hit or Miss workings.

The Hit or Miss workings are on the largest and most complex wolfram bearing quartz reefs on the Hatches Creek field. There are nine lodes, as three lines, covering 1600 feet square, with many abandoned shallow open cuts. To the west is the Silver Granites, south Fortune, Hit or Miss Extended to the east, with Reward and Hitler's Downfall mines to the north.

The lodes are well developed, except the central section where the reefs are irregular, and discontinuous. The lease was originally taken out around 1916 by Hanlon and Warne (surnames), and was one of the first registered on the field. Lodes at the time were named No. 2, No. 12, Wallaby, and Haddock. The lease was abandoned by 1922, then re-pegged in 1936 by J. Walsh, who later also took over the Fortune lease. In 1940, the northern part of the lease was called Ross' lease, and southern part Cadogan's. The Commonwealth government took over the leases from 1942-1944. Walsh and his estate held the leases until 1951, when it was acquired by J. Fowles. Then in 1956, J. English acquired the leases, and was worked by R. Coxon on his behalf. English and Walsh had employed several tributing parties across this period. Meanwhile, Silver Granites was worked by tributers Blundell and Spreadborough (surnames). The Reward lease in the northern portion of the Hit or Miss workings was not operational by this stage. Silver Granites has enough for its own section, is 500 metres east south-east, and will be written separately.

The Hit or Miss deposit is remarkable for its heavy concentrate of wolfram bearing quartz reefs, and regularity of their orientation, striking north. The north end of the Hit or Miss section is hosted in interbedded siltstone, sandstone, quartzite, and volcanic rocks. All the reefs dip vertical to 60 degrees west. The lodes lie between three large faults, two striking north-west to the north-east of the workings, and the third striking north-west, immediately west of the workings. These formed as a result of movement of quartzite blocks, forming ridges to the north and south.

There are two types of mineralisation at Hit or Miss. Some reefs are high in wolframite, with minor molybdenite and mica, while others are high in secondary copper species. Molybdenite is found though in all the reefs, but no scheelite is found in any. Wulfenite is found in the Main Lode. The secondary copper species are azurite, malachite, chrysocolla, atacamite, brochantite, chalcocite, with the addition of bornite, and native bismuth. The reefs contain rich and irregular wolfram patches, controlled by intrusive reefs, horses, and faults which split the reefs. Lodes are called Main, No. 1-3, West, Central, Walsh's, Extended, Silver Granites, Copper, and No. 4-5.

Production wise, the Main Lode is the most important, producing about half the wolfram at Hit or Miss. The lode is 1000 feet long, with 450 feet in the central portion exploited. The lode is hosted by siltstone in its southern section, and volcanic rocks in its northern section, which carries less worlfram and the reefs are irregular. The central section contain two quartz reefs, up to 20 inches wide each. It contains Chinaman's Shaft, probably sunk during the 1940's, when the Commonwealth government brought to the field 500 indentured Chinese labourers from Nauru. This was sunk on the Footwall lode, while Walsh's Shaft acted as the main shaft, sunk to a depth of 245 feet. There is also the North Shaft, inclined, down to 97 feet, at the western end of this zone. The highest grades of wolfram was found on the flatter dipping sections of the reefs. Ryan goes into great detail over the structures of the reefs.

The No. 1 Lode is 150 to 180 feet east of the Main Lode and parallel to it. It outcrops a length of 600 feet, hosted by siltstone. The reefs are 2-10 inches wide, marked by scattered open cuts, and three shafts. The reefs contain moderately rich but patchy wolfram.

No. 2 Lode is 300 feet to the south, the lode poorly defined, with a large number of quartz reefs, dipping steeply west, hosted by siltstone. The reefs are up to 6 inches wide, sunk on by the No. 2 Shaft, with considerable development work mining wolfram underground.

No. 3 Lode is 100 feet to the east of No. 2 Lode, and parallel to it. One reef is hosted by siltstone, the reef splitting to the south and becoming irregular. The reef is marked by an open cut and adit called Olsen's Tunnel.

The West Lode is a series of discontinuous reefs, 700 feet long, striking north-south, 5-15 inches wide, dipping west 60-80 degrees. The reefs are marked by shallow shafts and an adit.

The Central Lode is parallel to the West lode, extending a length of 700 feet. The southern and northern sections contained payable wolfram, on two parallel reefs, up to 11 inches wide each, with two shafts down to a depth of 30 feet.

Walsh's Lode is the largest and most complex in the workings, as a mass of reefs, splitting and interconnecting continuously. The reefs dip vertical to 70 degrees west or north, are 2-12 inches wide each, local enrichment with wolfram common.The reefs are marked with extensive open cuts, and shafts. Dodd's, Stewart's and Walsh's shafts are named. The reefs contain much copper.

The Extended Lode it at the eastern limit of the Hit or Miss workings. It is 500 feet long, the richest shoots in the central portion. It is marked by two shafts called Extended to the north, and Korner's to the south, both inclined to the west. Korner's is on two parallel reefs, dipping 57-60 degrees west, being a total of 5-22 inches wide. The reefs contain abundant secondary copper, and some wolframite.

The No. 4 Lode is 360 feet long, containing two reefs, dipping 45 degrees north. At the north-east end the reefs become irregular, and end abruptly against the Extended Lode. The lode is marked by many shallow open cuts and shafts. Overall the lode's grade is consistent throughout, but low.

No. 5 Lode Ryan states is purely known by conjecture, and is inferred by short sections of reef outcropping.

Mineral List

11 valid minerals.

Rock Types Recorded

Entries shown in red are rocks recorded for this region.

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The above list 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.


Ryan, G.R. (1961), The Geology and Mineral Resources of the Hatches Creek Wolfram Field. Northern Territory, Department of National Development/Bureau of Mineral Resources Geology and Geophysics, Bulletin No. 6, 1961

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