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New Zeal and Journal of
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Bari t e-f l uori t e
mi neral i sat i on at Thomson
Hi l l , Wangapeka Val l ey,
Nel son
J. C. Br ai t hwai t e
a
& W. A. Wat t er s
b
a
Li me and Mar bl e Lt d. , Por t Mapua, Nel son
b
N. Z. Geol ogi cal Sur vey, Depar t ment of
Sci ent i f i c and Indust r i al Resear ch, Lower Hut t
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To ci t e t hi s art i cl e: J. C. Br ai t hwai t e & W. A. Wat t er s ( 1962) : Bar i t e- f l uor i t e
mi ner al i sat i on at Thomson Hi l l , Wangapeka Val l ey, Nel son, New Zeal and Jour nal
of Geol ogy and Geophysi cs, 5: 4, 567- 578
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1962]
BARITE-FLUORITE MINERALISATION AT
THOMSON HILL, WANGAPEKA VALLEY,
NELSON
J. C. BRAITHWAITE
Lime and Marble Ltd., Port Mapua, Nelson
and
W. A. WATTERS
567
N.Z. Geological Survey, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research,
Lower Hutt
(Received for publication, 26 July 1962)
ABSTRACT
Barite occurs as irregular veins cutting' Ordovician marble of the Mount Arthur
Group; as encrustations on surface boulders of lower Tertiary grit; and as occasional
residual boulders within a solifluxion deposit, possibly a terra rossa, which mantles
the marble and the associated rocks. Minerals accompanying the barite include quartz,
fluorite, adularia, pyrite, muscovite, and jarosite. Brief chemical and optical data are
given for barite, adularia, and jarosite, and the petrography of the vein rocks is
described and illustrated. The veins, which are probably of low-temperature hydro-
thermal origin, are believed to be upper Paleozoic in age, and to hav.e been formed
during the later stages of evolution of the Separation Point Granite.
The barite deposits are shown to be of uneconomic size to warrant a treatment plant.
Of the several outcrops of barite known only one has an appreciable amount readily
available (about 3,000 tons of crude are). Nearly all the barite rock contains greater
or smaller amounts of other minerals, particularly quartz and fluorite, so that for most
uses any rock worked would require beneficiation.
INTRODUCTION
The first published record of barite and fluorite at Thomson Hill was
by James Park (1890), and the locality was later examined by T. O.
Bishop, Inspector of Mines (1917). During the second world war E. O.
Macpherson wrote a short paper on the deposit (1944), and recommended
further prospecting in order to discover its relations to the surrounding
rocks. Chemical analyses of the barite-fluorite rocks given in these papers
indicated barium sulphate up to 64-7%, and calcium fluoride up to 46-2%.
The occurrence described by these authors is on the north-east side of
Thomson Hill, and although Macpherson reported isolated fragments of
barite not far from the outcrop, and suggested that other deposits might be
present, none were found until recently. During the winter of 1959, one
of the authors (J.C.B.), assisted by Mr D. P. Bullen, made an intensive
search at Thomson Hill for possible commercial deposits of barite. Five
other deposits were found, on the eastern and southern flanks of the
N.Z. J. Geol. Geopbys. 5 : 567-78
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568 N.Z. JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS [Nov.
hill, as well as many minor barite veinlets. Several of the exposures were
later opened by bulldozer cuts, and the original outcrop (Prospect No.1)
was further examined by diamond drilling and by the driving' of an adit
with short cross-cuts (Fig. 2). The locations of the barite exposures are
shown in Fig. 1.
GENERAL GEOLOGY
The distribution of the main rock types is shown by the accompanying
sketch-map (Fig. 1). The oldest rocks are marble of the Mount Arthur
Group, and quartzite and schist of the Onekaka Schist Formation (Grindley,
1961); these formations are intruded by granitic rock belonging to the
Separation Point - Mount Murchison belt of acid intrusives (Reed, 1958).
In the immediate vicinity of Prospect No. 1 (Fig. 1),boulders of dark
dioritic and amphibolitic rocks of the Riwaka Metavolcanics (Grindley,
1961) are found in many places on the surface of the ground, but outcrops
are rare.
Lower Tertiary rocks of the Arnold Series (Grindley, 1961) flank most of
the Thomson Hill mass. They are chiefly coarse-grained quartzose or
arkosic grits, interbedded in a few places, e.g., near the marble quarry
and crusher (shown as Limeworks on Fig. 1), with narrow lenses of
carbonaceous siltstone (see also Henderson, Macpherson, and Grange, 1959).
Indurated specimens of the grit may bear a close resemblance to a mildly
weathered granite. Here and there the grit carries a few small pebbles
of greywacke-like rock, and residual boulders of grit collected from the area
around Prospect No. 3 (Fig. 1) are occasionally partly encrusted with
barite.
In several places bulldozer cuts have revealed a fine-grained maroon-
coloured deposit more or less completely mantling the older rocks. The
deposit may reach 15 ft thick, although it is generally appreciably thinner.
It is particularly well shown over the slopes around Prospects Nos. 1 and 2,
where it carries occasional cobbles and boulders of barite, siliceous vein
rock, and dark hornblende-bearing rock. The deposit is interpreted by the
authors as being, in part at least, a terra rossa-the fine-grained residue
left after surface leaching and solution of the underlying marble. In the
present erosion cycle it is behaving as a solifluxion deposit, gradually
moving downhill and giving a hummocky appearance to parts of the hill
slopes. When wet, the deposit becomes very plastic and slippery, and the
debris from exposures uncovered by bulldozing was quickly spread out by
heavy rains during the winter of 1960. X-ray examination of the material
by Dr M. Fieldes, Soil Bureau, shows the presence of a considerable
amount of mica. Possibly this has been derived from the gradual break-
down of fragments of basic rock of the Riwaka Metavolcanics included in
the deposit.
FIELD RELATIONS AT THE BARITE PROSPECTS
No.1. Exposures of the country rock are poor. Altered granitic rock, how-
ever, was exposed near the north-west side of the barite outcrop, and marble
at the southern end. The early bulldozing and preliminary diamond-drilling
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BRAITHWAITE AND WATTERS - BARITE MINERALISATION
D Alluvium
o lowei' TeruN, Sedrnmu
D Granite lSeparuJon PotM Granite)
ktw.k. t1eu 't' oIunks
D QuatU1tt, Schiu (Ontk.1ta StNst fonNUonJ
Billill Horblc (""""', k ....r "'_I
Hl:ukd koads •
Acc:eu tt lc:h
larlte depos.u X4 1700'
20 20 40 60 eo
of eN.,.,
F1G_ sketch-map l>fTh"m."... Bill area, showing location of baruc I""'prc' ,
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1962] BRAITHWAITE AND WATTERS -BARITE MINERALISATION 569
tended to bear out Macpherson's suggestion (1944) that the body has a
pipe-like form. Later, an exploratory adit, driven into the outcrop at the
lowermost part exposed, showed that the barite mass is in fact a tabular
body about 12 ft thick dipping about 45° east, and underlain by marble
(Fig. 2). This was later confirmed by diamond-drilling with a small portable
rig. A vertical hole put down from the bulldozer cut on top of the barite
outcrop intersected the marble at a depth of 9 ft 6 in. (Fig. 2).
After the marble had been entered during the driving, the adit was kept
straight ahead to ensure that the marble was not simply a narrow layer at this
point. The direction of the adit was then inclined to the east so that it would
come back on to the contact between the barite and the marble. Two narrow
barite-fluorite-quartz veins were intersected in the marble, and these appeared
to be linked along the floor of the adit. The contacts between the barite
and the marble were found to be somewhat weathered by percolating surface
water.
Usually, a narrow zone, up to 4 in. thick, of fine-grained, dark grey to
brown siliceous rock made up largely of quartz and potash feldspar (see
below) is present between the marble and the barite; the same reck occurs
as a narrow joint-filling in the marble in the first section of the adit
(Fig. ~ ) . Several pieces of the marble excavated from the adit contain
irregular veinlike areas of fine-grained siliceous rock, of almost flinty
toughness. One of the specimens collected contains a conspicuous zone of
pyrite up to one inch wide against the marble. Whefher or not the narrow
barite veins were feeding channels for the main mass of barite is not
O ..., lI:r -OI' I'
c:J - ..
"
"
"
"
"
" ..' "
...' "
,,"
< t ~ /
/ ~ ~ c ...
"
"
?'
SECTION ON • 8
PlAN Of ,tJ)/T
~ ~
~ ' 0 10 ~
, I I J
-
...
,"'"t....
/
?'
FIG. 2-Plan and section of adit at Prospect No.1, Thomson Hill.
Sig.5
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570 N.Z. JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS [Nov.
known. The writers believe that this is possible, however, since the veins
of barite in other parts of this district swell and pinch out very irregularly.
The relation of the barite to the Riwaka Metavolcanics is unknown.
The amount of barite readily available at the deposit is thought to be
not greater than 3,000 tons. The quality is variable: parts of the mass are
made up almost entirely of white barite; others show in addition quartz
and fluorite; and iron staining is present in many places.
Nos. 2 and 3. When first examined these prospects showed no solid barite
outcrops, but only surface concentrations of barite boulders. At Prospect
No.2, an area roughly 50 yd by 20 yd contained a high proportion of
pure, white barite boulders up to 18 in. across. Bulldozer cuts proved that
they were resting on solifluxion debris, between 6 and 10 ft thick, overlying
marble. The surface boulders were thus not connected directly with a
solid outcrop, and must have been derived from barite veins from which
the surrounding marble had been leached.
No.4. Two main exposures, both large boulders, were seen. One is fairly
pure barite, the other barite with much quartz and fine-grained limonite.
Bulldozer cuts showed marble beneath the -boulders.
No.5. Barite is present both as veins up to 12 in. thick cutting marble,
and as boulders on a thin deposit of solifluxion debris. Granite is present
near the outcrop, and boulders of dioritic rock.
No.6. This outcrop forms a knob on a steep ridge immediately above
conspicuous bluffs of marble with barite veins swelling up to 3 ft thick. The
barite at the knob appeared at first sight to have a pipelike form 15 to
20 ft across. Trenches blasted across the outcrop showed that marble forms
the bedrock and that the barite is probably the thick swollen part of a
vein similar to those seen in the bluffs below.
PETROGRAPHY
The following notes are based mainly on rocks from Prospect No.1,
although reference is made also to the other exposures. Specimens referred
to by number are held in the Petrology Section collection, N.Z. Geological
Survey, Lower Hutt.
Granite and Altered Granite
Altered granitic rock (26762; microcline, acid oligoclase, quartz, minor
biotite and muscovite) from the west side of Prospect No.1 has a streaky
appearance and frequent conspicuous reddish staining. Some of the rock is
extensively altered and is broken down to a white clayey material. The rocks
are crushed in places and show diffuse veinlike areas of quartz. Much of
the feldspar is dusted by very finely divided iron oxide.
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1962] BRAITHWAITE AND WATTERS -BARITE MINERALI SATI ON 571
Soft white altered granite from the same locality shows much white clay
mineral and contains irregular light greenish flecks made up largely of
sericite and a chloritic mineral. X-r ay examination of a sample of the
altered granite by Dr M. Fieldes, Soil Bureau, shows the presence of
montmorillonite.
Taylor (1944) has described crushed and decomposed granite with a
considerable proportion of kaolinitic clay from the adjacent area between
Baton Saddle and the Baton River.
l rregttlar Siliceous Layers Between the Marble and Barite
Thes e rocks, the occurrence of which in the adit at Pr ospect No. 1 is
described above (see also Fig. 2) , are light grey to grey when fr esh, passing
to yellowish or brownish on weathering. They have a conspicuous gritty
appearance in hand specimen (26749-51, 26753) . Rarely, similar reck was
also seen as thin discontinuous layers between bar ite-rich and quartz-rich
parts of the veins (26754). In th in section these rocks show scattered
irregular areas of quartz and microcline ( and rarely acid oligoclase, as in
2(75 1), separated by a very fine-grained matr ix made up largely of quartz
and adul aria ( Fig. 3); the matri x usually carries numerous tiny pyrite
gra ins and occasional small flakes of muscovite. The quartz areas consist either
FIG. 3- Photomicrograph of siliceous vein rock (2 67 51) , from adit at Pros pect No.1,
showing large crystals of qua rtz set in a fine-grain ed matrix of quartz and
adularia . Crossed nicols, X 45. Th e almost square, black grai n near the top right-
hand corner is magnet ite. The large oval black area ncar the bottom right-hand
corner is a cavity in the slide; the light-coloured area immediately to the
right of and above it is a duster of small irregular flakes of muscovite.
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572 N.2. JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS [Nov.
of single large grains or of aggregates of smaller crystals, with texture
resembling that of typical vein quartz. The microcline occurs either as rela-
tively coarse-grained crystals, or is associated with quartz in areas showing
granitoid texture. The fine-grained phase, composed mainly of quartz and
adularia, is very similar in petrography to the extremely hard, fine-grained
rock which forms small irregular masses in several of the lumps of marble
excavated from the adit (26748).
In one specimen (26750) a few thin veinlets of barite, up to 0-05 mm
wide, cut across both the coarse-grained and fine-grained parts of this rock.
Alkali determinations on a specimen of quartzo-feldspathic rock (26749)
collected between the marble and barite vein rock in the adit gives
0'05% Nap and 7-55% KzO.
The texture of these rocks shows that formation of the veins has taken
place in at least two phases. An earlier phase has produced a coarse-grained
vein-filling rock composed essentially of quartz and microcline,* which has
been later partly replaced by very fine-grained quartz-adularia rock. The
coarser-grained part of the rock shows moderate strain effects such as
undulose extinction, so that possibly the replacement was accompanied by
some crushing of the original rock.
Barite-rich Vein Rocks
Minerals recorded in the veins are: barite, fluorite, quartz, adularia,
muscovite, biotite (sometimes chloritised), pyrite (often altered to limon-
ite), jarosite (minor), and accessory apatite, futile, calcite, zircon, magnetite,
and garnet.
Barite is often well crystallised, particularly where thin plates project
into areas mainly composed of quartz. Refractive indices of a typical speci-
men (23667) are: a 1-635, f3 1-636, Y 1-648 (± 0-003). These figures
indicate that the mineral is close to pure barium sulphate in composition;
a determination for strontium at the Dominion Laboratory on the same
specimen gave 0-30% Sr (c::: 0-63% SrS0
4
) . •
Fluorite is colourless, pale green, or apple green, but is always colourless
in thin section. Many crystals from the south end of Prospect No. 1 are
concentrically zoned, clear zones alternating with zones clouded by minute
opaque inclusions (Fig. 7). In hand specimen most of the fluorite is massive,
but numerous weathered octahedral crystals up to 20 mm across are present
in one sample (26755).
Quartz is occasionally well crystallised, specimens of display quality having
been found. Usually, however, it forms an interlocking mosaic of irregular
grains.
*This coarse-grained phase may be represented by hard white rock (26761), ten-
tatively called "quartzite" in the field, found as isolated lumps in soli fluxion debris
near the south end of Prospect No.1. The minerals, mainly potash feldspar' and
quartz, tend to be in separate irregular layers, giving a pronounced layered structure
to the hand specimen. The potash feldspar is dusted by a very finely divided,
whitish alteration product. Many of the crystals show cross-hatched twinning, and
there are a few tiny irregular patches, possibly of acid plagioclase, with higher
refractive index. Occasional irregular flakes of muscovite, and a few tiny biotite
crystals, partly chloritised and dusted with iron oxide, are the only other minerals.
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1962] BRAITHWAITE AND WATTERS - BARITE MINERALISATION
573
Adularia is found as tiny rhomb-shaped crystals or as clusters of minute
grains which show euhedral outlines only at the boundary with the surround-
ing quartz (Figs. 4 and 5). Refractive indices, determined on grains from
a quartz-adularia-barite-muscovite vein rock (2 3675), are: a 1'517, y 1'525
( + 0'002). These figures indicate that the mineral is close to pure ortho-
clase and that very little or none of the hyalophane molecule is present.
It is hoped to separate some of the adularia for further study.
The alkali determinations made on two adularia-bearing rocks (26749-
7'55 % x.o, 0'05% Na
2
0 ; 26764-6-00% K
2
0 , 0'05% Na
2
0 ) show that
the feldspar in these rocks is almost completely soda-free.
Jarosite (KFe
3
(OH) 6(S0 4h ) : this mineral was found at the north end
of Prospect No.1 ( 26745--46) and on barite (26741) from a vein cutting
marble exposed in the gully about 220 yd south of Prospect No.1 (shown
0-5 mm.
J I
FIG. 4-Carnera·lucida sketch of barite rich vein rock (26745), showing crypto-
crystalline jarosite in spaces between the other minerals. Ordinary light;
ad = adularia, ba = barite, rnu = muscovite, qu = quartz.
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574 N.Z. JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSI CS [Nov.
as lA on Fig. 1). The jarosite forms a conspicuous yellow coating on the
surface of the vein rock, or little nests in cavities and cracks ( 26745). It is,
usually extremely fine-grained, and in thin section is seen as irregular
cryptocrystalline aggregates filling the spaces between the other minerals
(Fig. 4). An aggregate of larger size than usual ( 26746) is made up of
minute tabular crystals averaging about 0-015 mm across. These crystals have
a faint yellowish colour, but no pleochroism could be detected. The refractive
ind ices are : 0) 1-814 (-+- O-OlD) ; I' 1-714 (:i- 0'003).
X-ray fluorescence analysis by Mr N. Wells, Soil Bureau, Well ington,
gave (in wt %): Fe 15-20, K 5, Ba 1, Ca I, Sr 1, Al 0-5, Si 0-2, Mg 0-1,
Na 0-1; and ( in p.p.m. ) : Zr 100, V 30, Ga 10, Pb 5, Cr 3. A test carried
out at the Dominion Laboratory confirmed the presence of the sulphate
radicle as a major constituent. X-ray diffraction examination, first at the
Soil Bureau and later at the Geological Survey, gave patterns almost identical
with that on the ASTM card for jarosite.
The mode of occurrence of jarosite has been briefly considered by Hutton
and Bowen ( 1950) who show that it appears always to crystallise from
solutions at low temperature. They point out that pure jarosite has been
prepared in the laboratory at temperatures as low as 1l0°e. There seems
littl e doubt that the jarosite at Thomson Hill was deposited during the final
stage of formation of the veins, all the constituents necessary for its
crystallisation being readily available.
Petrographic f eatures of typical barit e-rich veins are shown in Fig. 5.
Barite may form up to 95% of the volume of parts of the veins, but
quartz is invariably present , which might be a disadvantage for possible
use of the barit e in drilling mud . Fluorite has been recorded only at
Prospect NO.1, where it is an important, though variable, constituent.
\
-,
<,
-- ~
~
qu
<> c- ~
---
..
"
1.\
',\'
qu
c,'?-
FIG. 5-eamera· Jucida sketches of vein rocks ( 8412 on left , 8424 on right) from
prospect No. 1. Ordinary light; ad = adularia , ba = barite, fl = fluori te, qu =
quartz.
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1962] BRAITHWAITE AND W,HTERS - B ARITE MINERALISATION 575
Two unusual types of barite-bearing vein rock were collected at the south
end of Prospect No . 1. One of these ( 26764) is a siliceous rock and is
composed of quartz and abundant adularia, with scattered, comparatively
large crystals of barite; analysis for alkalis in this rock gave 0'05% Na
20
and 6' 00% K
20
. The other type is rich in pale green fluorite, much of
which is zoned, giving conspicuous banded and nodular textures (Fig. 7) .
Many specimens (e.g. 26758-59) have well developed zonal structures,
successive zones being : quartz, adularia, minor fluorite ; fluorite ; bar ite,
minor fluorite (Figs. 6 and 7). In the specimen sketched in Fig. 7, small
light-coloured "knots" rich in adularia are surrounded by pale fluori te with
nodular texture ; this passes rapidly through zoned fluorite to a homo-
geneous, though flawed, green fluorite, which is followed abruptly by
bari te.
ba
fl
- f l
o I 1 3 4 ems
, I ( , ,
FIG. (i-Sketch of zoned vein rock (267'9) .
Barite
Fluorite
Zoned fluorite
Irr egular areal of quartz
& adularia
Barite
o I 2 3 c ~
• ! ! ,
FIG. 7-Sketch of zoned fluorite -bar ite vein rock (26758).
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576 N.Z. JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS .
PARAGENETIC SEQUENCE OF THE VEIN M INERALS
[Nov.
Two distinct types of veins may be recognised : the mainly siliceous veins,
seen, for example, in the adit at Prospect No.1, and the barite-rich veins .
The sequence of mineral formation within each of these, including late
changes such as the crystallisation of jarosite, is shown schematically in
Fig. 8. As far as possible, the sequences have been based on the textural
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FI G. 8-Suggested mineral seq uence in Th omson Hill veins .
relationships between the different minerals, as seen in thin section, but it
has not been possible to determine the overlap of crystallisation of some of
the mineral s, e.g" muscovite and pyrite, with any certainty, The time rela-
tion bet ween the siliceous veins and the bar ite-rich veins is uncer tain.
The writers are inclined, however, to believe that the barite-rich veins were
formed a little after the siliceous vein rocks.
The zoned barite-rich and fluorite-rich rocks (Figs. 6 and 7) are probably
not as distin ctly separated from the more widespread unzoned barite-r ich
veins as is shown in Fig. 8; the zoned rocks may well be simply a local
variation of parts of the barite-rich veins caused by rhythmic changes in the
composition of the fluids feeding the veins .
ORIGIN
Brobst ( 1958) showed that barite deposits in the United States belong,
with few exceptions, to three main types : vein-filling and cavity-filling
deposits ; bedded deposits, in which the barite is restr icted to certain beds
in a sedimentary sequence ; and residual deposits, in which concentrations
of barite have been derived from pre-existing rocks. Even though contact
detail s are not always dear, there seems little doubt that the Thomson Hill
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1962] BRAITHWAITE AND WATTERS - BARITE MINERALISATION 577
barite is a vein deposit, of hydrothermal origin. A residual origin for isolated
boulders or groups of boulders in solifluxion debris has been indicated
above, but the ultimate derivation of these from veins is hardly in doubt.
The barite veins appear always to be enclosed by the Mount Arthur
Marble. No satisfactory petrographic evidence of replacement of the calcite
of the marble was seen, although indications of this are present in hand
specimens from several places showing small barite veins in marble (23670,
23673). The relative frequency of such replacement as opposed to simple
infilling of crevices and cavities in the marble is unknown.
The occurrence at Thomson Hill bears some resemblance to those described
by Laurence (1960) from the Sweetwater district of eastern Tennessee.
There, the barite is found not only as irregular veins in brecciated dolo-
mitised Ordovician limestone but also as loose masses within a residual
clayey mantle overlying the bedrock.
A granitic source for the Thomson Hill veins is almost certain, as indi-
cated by the minerals accompanying the barite, particularly the adularia and
fluorite. It seems possible that the granite exposed at Prospect No. 1 has
been affected by hydrothermal action, and Taylor (1944, p. 79) suggested
that the decomposed granite outcropping between Baton Saddle and the
Baton River had undergone similar alteration. Possibly, therefore, the forma-
tion of the barite veins took place at about the same time as this suggested
alteration, presumably during the final stages of evolution of the Separation
Point Granite.
The occasional partial surface covering of barite on residual boulders of
Tertiary rock near Prospect No. 3 is probably due to redistribution of
small amounts of barite during erosion of the Paleozoic landmass and
deposition of the cover of lower Tertiary sediments.
ECONOMIC ASPECTS
Only a few thousand tons, probably no more than 3,000, of barite-rich
rock are estimated to be readily available at Prospect No.1, and insignifi-
cant amounts at the other outcrops. The sporadic distribution of the bodies,
and the fact that the present land surface cuts through swollen portions of
several veins, make it probable that other barite masses exist in the marble
below ground level. Exploitation of such buried masses-if they exist-
would be difficult if not impracticable, but it is interesting to note that
detection of hidden barite. bodies has been carried out in Missouri by
detailed gravimetric surveying (Laurence, 1960, p. 178).
From the outcrops known, probably not enough barite is readily access-
ible for commercial exploitation. The main use at present in New Zealand
for barite (imported from Australia) is for weighting drilling mud, and
utilisation of the Thomson Hill rock for this and most other purposes would
require the removal of fluorite and quartz. In the finely ground state barite
is also used in the paint industry. A minor use that has been suggested for
the Thomson Hill barite is to provide aggregate for high-density concrete
for nuclear-radiation shielding.
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578 N.Z. JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
[Nov.
The authors wish to acknowledge the help received in the field from Mr D. P.
Bullen, Richmond, Nelson, and from Mr 1. S. Jones, Mines Department, Greymouth.
Thanks are due to the Soil Bureau, Wellington, and the Dominion Laboratory, Lower
Hutt, for chemical analyses and X-ray examination of samples, and in particular to
Dr M. Fieldes of the Soil Bureau, who first determined the nature of the jarosite
collected at Thomson Hill.
REFERENCES
BISHOP, T. O. 1917: Baton River Fluor-Spar. N.Z. Geol. Suru. 11th Annu. Rep.
(n.s.): 16.
BROBST, D. A. 1958: Barite Resources of the United States. U.S. Geol. Sun'. Bull.
1072-B.
GRINDLEY, G. W. 1961: Sheet 13-Golden Bay. "Geological Map of New Zealand.
1 : 250,000". N.Z. Dep. Sci. Industr. Res., Wellington.
HENDERSON, ].; MACPHERSON, E. 0.; GRANGE, 1. I. 1959: The Geology of Motueka
Subdivision. N.Z. Geol. Suru. B1Jll. n.s, 35 (Compiled by G. C. SHAW).
HUTTON, C. 0.; BOWEN, O. E. 1950: An Occurrence of Jarosite in Altered Volcanic
Rocks of Stoddard Mountain, San Bernardino County, California. Amer.
Mineralogist 35: 556-61.
LAURENCE, R. A. 1960: Geologic Problems in the Sweetwater Barite District, Ten-
nessee. Amer. J. sa.. Bradley vst., 258A: 170-9.
MACPHERSON, E. O. 1944: Deposit of Barite and Fluorspar, Thomson Hill, Wanga-
peka Survey District, Nelson. u.z. J. Sci. Tech. B 25: 178-80.
PARK, ]. 1890: On the Occurrence of Fluor-spar at the Baton Goldfield, Nelson.
u.z. Geol. Sur 1-. Ret'. Geol. Explor. 1888-89, 20: 73-4.
REED, ]. ]. 1958: Granites and Mineralisation in New Zealand. ».z. J. Geol.
Geopbys. 1: 47-64.
TAYLOR, B. 1. 1944: Decomposed Granite, Baton, Nelson. N.z. J. Sci. T'ecb. B 25:
18-86.
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demand.210. and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources.14. The accuracy of any instructions. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss. formulae. Downloaded by [189. or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material. proceedings. actions.172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 .up to date. claims.

on the eastern and southern flanks of the N. fluorite. Geopbys. possibly a terra rossa. and although Macpherson reported isolated fragments of barite not far from the outcrop. Minerals accompanying the barite include quartz. A. so that for most uses any rock worked would require beneficiation. and to hav. adularia. and jarosite. Inspector of Mines (1917).B. and suggested that other deposits might be present. and recommended further prospecting in order to discover its relations to the surrounding rocks. WATTERS Downloaded by [189. J. Nearly all the barite rock contains greater or smaller amounts of other minerals. INTRODUCTION The first published record of barite and fluorite at Thomson Hill was by James Park (1890). pyrite. Of the several outcrops of barite known only one has an appreciable amount readily available (about 3.1962] 567 BARITE-FLUORITE MINERALISATION AT THOMSON HILL. particularly quartz and fluorite.. O. are believed to be upper Paleozoic in age. Bishop. Geol. O. none were found until recently. Brief chemical and optical data are given for barite. and the locality was later examined by T. The barite deposits are shown to be of uneconomic size to warrant a treatment plant. and calcium fluoride up to 46-2%. Macpherson wrote a short paper on the deposit (1944). and as occasional residual boulders within a solifluxion deposit. assisted by Mr D. and jarosite. Port Mapua.000 tons of crude are).e been formed during the later stages of evolution of the Separation Point Granite. adularia.14. one of the authors (J. WANGAPEKA VALLEY. muscovite.Z. BRAITHWAITE Lime and Marble Ltd. The veins.).210. and the petrography of the vein rocks is described and illustrated. NELSON J. During the winter of 1959. Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. which mantles the marble and the associated rocks. as encrustations on surface boulders of lower Tertiary grit. which are probably of low-temperature hydrothermal origin. C. Lower Hutt (Received for publication. During the second world war E. Five other deposits were found. The occurrence described by these authors is on the north-east side of Thomson Hill. 26 July 1962) ABSTRACT Barite occurs as irregular veins cutting' Ordovician marble of the Mount Arthur Group. P. made an intensive search at Thomson Hill for possible commercial deposits of barite. Bullen. 5 : 567-78 . Chemical analyses of the barite-fluorite rocks given in these papers indicated barium sulphate up to 64-7%. Geological Survey. Nelson and W.172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 N.C.Z.

hill. The deposit is interpreted by the authors as being. 1) are occasionally partly encrusted with barite. In the immediate vicinity of Prospect No. although it is generally appreciably thinner. JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS [Nov. GENERAL GEOLOGY The distribution of the main rock types is shown by the accompanying sketch-map (Fig. Indurated specimens of the grit may bear a close resemblance to a mildly weathered granite.Mount Murchison belt of acid intrusives (Reed. with narrow lenses of carbonaceous siltstone (see also Henderson. They are chiefly coarse-grained quartzose or arkosic grits.172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 No. siliceous vein rock. Several of the exposures were later opened by bulldozer cuts. as well as many minor barite veinlets.Z.g. Exposures of the country rock are poor. was exposed near the north-west side of the barite outcrop. 1961). The deposit may reach 15 ft thick. gradually moving downhill and giving a hummocky appearance to parts of the hill slopes. shows the presence of a considerable amount of mica. 1961) flank most of the Thomson Hill mass. and the debris from exposures uncovered by bulldozing was quickly spread out by heavy rains during the winter of 1960. Possibly this has been derived from the gradual breakdown of fragments of basic rock of the Riwaka Metavolcanics included in the deposit. and marble at the southern end. X-ray examination of the material by Dr M. In the present erosion cycle it is behaving as a solifluxion deposit. Altered granitic rock.568 N.1. The early bulldozing and preliminary diamond-drilling .1) was further examined by diamond drilling and by the driving' of an adit with short cross-cuts (Fig. 1). a terra rossa-the fine-grained residue left after surface leaching and solution of the underlying marble. and Grange. where it carries occasional cobbles and boulders of barite. e. the deposit becomes very plastic and slippery. near the marble quarry and crusher (shown as Limeworks on Fig. 1959). 1958). 1 (Fig. interbedded in a few places. When wet. Soil Bureau.. and quartzite and schist of the Onekaka Schist Formation (Grindley. Here and there the grit carries a few small pebbles of greywacke-like rock. 3 (Fig. FIELD RELATIONS AT THE BARITE PROSPECTS Downloaded by [189. In several places bulldozer cuts have revealed a fine-grained marooncoloured deposit more or less completely mantling the older rocks. Lower Tertiary rocks of the Arnold Series (Grindley. The oldest rocks are marble of the Mount Arthur Group. Fieldes. It is particularly well shown over the slopes around Prospects Nos. but outcrops are rare. and dark hornblende-bearing rock. Macpherson. 2). however. these formations are intruded by granitic rock belonging to the Separation Point . and the original outcrop (Prospect No.210. 1961) are found in many places on the surface of the ground. and residual boulders of grit collected from the area around Prospect No. 1 and 2.boulders of dark dioritic and amphibolitic rocks of the Riwaka Metavolcanics (Grindley. The locations of the barite exposures are shown in Fig. 1). in part at least.14. 1. 1).

..14.1ta StNst fonNUonJ X4 1 700' k . (Ontk.BARITE MINERALISATION Downloaded by [189. F1G_ l -Gro:>IO:>l':jc~1 sketch-map l>fTh"m. Bill area.r "'_I 20 20 Su~ 40 of 60 eo eN.BRAITHWAITE AND WATTERS .... Sedrnm u Gr anite lSep Jon PotM Gr aru anite) Acc:eu tt lc: h larlte depos..210.. QuatU1tt. showing location of baruc I""'prc' .u D D Schiu Billill Horblc (""""'.172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 o D Alluvium Hl:ukd koads • lowei' TeruN. .k..". ~ ktw t1eu 't'oIunks .

. This was later confirmed by diamond-drilling with a small portable rig.. of almost flinty toughness. A vertical hole put down from the bulldozer cut on top of the barite outcrop intersected the marble at a depth of 9 ft 6 in.. Later.. After the marble had been entered during the driving."'"t.tJ)/T . driven into the outcrop at the lowermost part exposed. ?' SECTION ON • 8 2-Plan and section of adit at Prospect No. 2). Thomson Hill.lI:r. The direction of the adit was then inclined to the east so that it would come back on to the contact between the barite and the marble. The contacts between the barite and the marble were found to be somewhat weathered by percolating surface water. Sig. up to 4 in..210. Two narrow barite-fluorite-quartz veins were intersected in the marble. and these appeared to be linked along the floor of the adit.. O .."" '. (Fig. an exploratory adit.. . ?' FIG. Usually... the adit was kept straight ahead to ensure that the marble was not simply a narrow layer at this point. of fine-grained.. dark grey to brown siliceous rock made up largely of quartz and potash feldspar (see below) is present between the marble and the barite. showed that the barite mass is in fact a tabular body about 12 ft thick dipping about 45° east. ' " """ "" " "" / ~ ~ c .172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 tended to bear out Macpherson's suggestion (1944) that the body has a pipe-like form. thick. Several pieces of the marble excavated from the adit contain irregular veinlike areas of fine-grained siliceous rock.' I' OI c:J .1... One of the specimens collected contains a conspicuous zone of pyrite up to one inch wide against the marble.. a narrow zone. 2).5 . Whefher or not the narrow barite veins were feeding channels for the main mass of barite is not ~~ ~ .14.. ' 0 I 10 - I ~ J <t~ / PlAN Of . and underlain by marble (Fig.. the same reck occurs as a narrow joint-filling in the marble in the first section of the adit (Fig. / .1962] BRAITHWAITE AND WATTERS -BARITE MINERALISATION 569 Downloaded by [189. ~).

Some of the rock is extensively altered and is broken down to a white clayey material. One is fairly pure barite. the other barite with much quartz and fine-grained limonite. Granite is present near the outcrop. No. however.5. The amount of barite readily available at the deposit is thought to be not greater than 3. and as boulders on a thin deposit of solifluxion debris. acid oligoclase.570 N. The relation of the barite to the Riwaka Metavolcanics is unknown. Geological Survey. Lower Hutt. PETROGRAPHY The following notes are based mainly on rocks from Prospect No.2. quartz. No. minor biotite and muscovite) from the west side of Prospect No. Trenches blasted across the outcrop showed that marble forms the bedrock and that the barite is probably the thick swollen part of a vein similar to those seen in the bluffs below. No. This outcrop forms a knob on a steep ridge immediately above conspicuous bluffs of marble with barite veins swelling up to 3 ft thick. white barite boulders up to 18 in. and iron staining is present in many places.6. known.Z. others show in addition quartz and fluorite. microcline. and must have been derived from barite veins from which the surrounding marble had been leached. but only surface concentrations of barite boulders. The rocks are crushed in places and show diffuse veinlike areas of quartz. between 6 and 10 ft thick.210. and boulders of dioritic rock. Much of the feldspar is dusted by very finely divided iron oxide. 2 and 3. overlying marble. thick cutting marble. Barite is present both as veins up to 12 in. N. across. When first examined these prospects showed no solid barite outcrops. Downloaded by [189. both large boulders.1.172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 Nos. were seen. JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS [Nov. Specimens referred to by number are held in the Petrology Section collection. although reference is made also to the other exposures. Bulldozer cuts proved that they were resting on solifluxion debris.Z.000 tons. The surface boulders were thus not connected directly with a solid outcrop. The writers believe that this is possible. since the veins of barite in other parts of this district swell and pinch out very irregularly. . The barite at the knob appeared at first sight to have a pipelike form 15 to 20 ft across. Two main exposures.1 has a streaky appearance and frequent conspicuous reddish staining. Granite and Altered Granite Altered granitic rock (26762.4. The quality is variable: parts of the mass are made up almost entirely of white barite.14. At Prospect No. an area roughly 50 yd by 20 yd contained a high proportion of pure. Bulldozer cuts showed marble beneath the -boulders.

l rregttlar Siliceous Layers Between the Marble and Barite Downloaded by [189. shows the presence of montmorillonite. are light grey to grey when fr esh. 2) . black grai n near the top righthand corne r is magnet ite. The large oval black area ncar th e bottom rig ht-hand corner is a cavity in the slide.1 . the matri x usually carries nume rous tiny pyrite gra ins and occasional small flakes of muscovite. Th e almost sq uare.Photomicrograph of siliceous vein rock (2 67 51) . They have a consp icuous gritty appearance in hand specimen (26749-51 . X 45.14. passing to yellowish or brownish on weathering. the occurrence of which in the adit at Pr ospect No. In th in section these rocks show scattered irregular areas of quartz and microcline ( and rarely acid oligoclase. Soil Bureau. Rarely. 1 is described above (see also Fig . 26753) . from adit at Pros pect N o. . Crossed nicols .1962] BRAITH WAITE AN D WATTERS -BARIT E MIN ERALI SATI ON 571 Soft white altered granite from the same locality shows much white clay mineral and contains irregular light greenish flecks made up largely of sericite and a chloritic mineral. the ligh t-coloured area immediately to the right of and above it is a duster of small irregu lar flakes of muscovite. as in 2(75 1). similar reck was also seen as th in discontinuous layers between bar ite-rich and quartz-rich parts of the veins (26754). Th e quartz areas consist either FIG. 3). showing large crystals of qua rtz set in a fine-grain ed matrix of q uartz and adularia .210. X-r ay examination of a sample of the altered granite by Dr M. T aylor (1944) has described crushed and decomposed granite with a considerable proportion of kaolinitic clay from the adjacent area between Baton Saddle and the Baton River. separated by a very fine-grained matr ix made up largely of quartz and adul aria ( Fig . 3.172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 Thes e rocks. Fieldes .

up to 0-05 mm wide. particularly where thin plates project into areas mainly composed of quartz. fine-grained rock which forms small irregular masses in several of the lumps of marble excavated from the adit (26748). and accessory apatite. but is always colourless in thin section.210. Barite is often well crystallised. clear zones alternating with zones clouded by minute opaque inclusions (Fig. or is associated with quartz in areas showing granitoid texture.1. tend to be in separate irregular layers. *This coarse-grained phase may be represented by hard white rock (26761). partly chloritised and dusted with iron oxide.* which has been later partly replaced by very fine-grained quartz-adularia rock. JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS [Nov. Refractive indices of a typical specimen (23667) are: a 1-635.2. composed mainly of quartz and adularia. and a few tiny biotite crystals. zircon. Fluorite is colourless. Quartz is occasionally well crystallised. quartz. whitish alteration product. Occasional irregular flakes of muscovite. Many crystals from the south end of Prospect No. possibly of acid plagioclase. The fine-grained phase. found as isolated lumps in soli fluxion debris near the south end of Prospect No. calcite. magnetite. are the only other minerals. biotite (sometimes chloritised). and garnet. 7). a determination for strontium at the Dominion Laboratory on the same • specimen gave 0-30% Sr (c::: 0-63% SrS0 4 ) . Alkali determinations on a specimen of quartzo-feldspathic rock (26749) collected between the marble and barite vein rock in the adit gives 0'05% Nap and 7-55% KzO. . cut across both the coarse-grained and fine-grained parts of this rock. mainly potash feldspar' and quartz. and there are a few tiny irregular patches. but numerous weathered octahedral crystals up to 20 mm across are present in one sample (26755). with higher refractive index. f3 1-636. The minerals. In one specimen (26750) a few thin veinlets of barite. The texture of these rocks shows that formation of the veins has taken place in at least two phases. The microcline occurs either as relatively coarse-grained crystals. specimens of display quality having been found. tentatively called "quartzite" in the field. is very similar in petrography to the extremely hard. however. adularia. 1 are concentrically zoned. with texture resembling that of typical vein quartz. Downloaded by [189. The coarser-grained part of the rock shows moderate strain effects such as undulose extinction. Many of the crystals show cross-hatched twinning.14. muscovite.572 N. jarosite (minor). giving a pronounced layered structure to the hand specimen. Y 1-648 (± 0-003). Barite-rich Vein Rocks Minerals recorded in the veins are: barite. The potash feldspar is dusted by a very finely divided. so that possibly the replacement was accompanied by some crushing of the original rock. it forms an interlocking mosaic of irregular grains. Usually. An earlier phase has produced a coarse-grained vein-filling rock composed essentially of quartz and microcline. or apple green. pyrite (often altered to limonite). fluorite. These figures indicate that the mineral is close to pure barium sulphate in composition. In hand specimen most of the fluorite is massive. pale green.172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 of single large grains or of aggregates of smaller crystals. futile.

The alkali determinations made on two adularia-bearing rocks (267497'55 % x .1 ( 26745--46) and on barite (26741) from a vein cutting marble exposed in the gully about 220 yd south of Prospect No.14. ad = adularia. I 4-Carnera·lucida sketch of barite rich vein rock (26745). 0'05% Na 2 0 ) show that the feldspar in these rocks is almost completely soda-free. It is hoped to separate some of the adularia for further study . showing cryptocrystalline jarosite in spaces between th e other minerals.1962] BRAITHWAITE AND WATTERS . are: a 1'517. y 1'525 ( + 0'002). 4 and 5). determined on gra ins from a quartz-adularia-barite-muscovite vein rock (2 3675). J FIG . ba = barite. Refractive indices. Ordinary light.172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 Adularia is found as tiny rhomb-shaped crystals or as clusters of minute grains which show euhedral outlines only at the boundary with the surrounding quartz (Figs.o. 26764-6-00% K 2 0 .210. . 0'05 % Na2 0 .1 (shown 0-5 mm. Jarosite (KFe 3 (OH) 6(S0 4h ) : this mineral was found at the north end of Prospe ct No. qu = qu artz. These figures indicate that the mineral is close to pure orthoclase and that very little or none of the hyalophane molecule is present. rnu = muscovite .BARITE MINERALISATION 573 Downloaded by [189.

210. Na 0-1 . 5.~ c . An aggregate of larger size than usual ( 26746) is made up of minute tabular crystals averaging about 0-015 mm across. <. Ordinary ligh t. 5.'?- ~ FIG.p. Wells. These crystals have a faint yellowish colour.1 . Barite may form up to 95% of the volume of parts of the veins. Al 0-5. 1. Petrographic f eatures of typical barit e-rich veins are shown in Fig.172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 as lA on Fig. but quartz is invariably present. A test carried out at the Dominion Laboratory confirmed the presen ce of the sulphate rad icle as a ma jor constituent. The mode of occurrence of jarosite has been briefly considered by Hutton and Bowen ( 1950) who show that it appears always to crystallise from solutions at low temperature. though variable . . " 1.m. K 5. It is.eamera·Jucida sketches of vein rocks ( 8412 on left. There seems littl e doubt that the jarosite at Thomson Hill was deposited during the final stage of formation of the veins. Wellington. Soil Bureau . Fluorite has been recorded only at Prospect NO. all the constituents necessary fo r its crystallisation being readily availab le. fl = fluorite.0'003). ad = adu laria . qu <> c- ~ ---. 1). usually extremely fine-grained. V 30. and in thin section is seen as irregular cryptocrystalline aggregates filling the spaces between the other minerals (Fig. where it is an important.\ '. 4).\' qu -. The jarosite forms a conspicuous yellow coating on the surface of the vein rock. Cr 3.14. which might be a disadvantage for possible use of the barit e in drilling mud . Ga 10. 8424 on right) from prospect N o. or little nests in cavities and cracks ( 26745). gave (in wt %): Fe 15-20. X -ray diffraction examination. Pb 5. Ca I. qu = quartz.) : Zr 100. X -ray fluorescence analysis by Mr N . Downloaded by [189. gave patterns almost identical with that on the ASTM card for jarosite. first at the Soil Bureau and later at the Geologic al Survey. ba = barite. constituent. Mg 0-1.Z. Sr 1. Si 0-2. Ba 1. The refractive ind ices are : 0) 1-814 (-+. \ . JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSI CS [Nov. They point out that pure jarosite has been prepared in the laboratory at temperatures as low as 1l0°e. but no pleochroism could be detected.O-OlD) . I' 1-714 (:i.574 N . and ( in p.

.g. 6 and 7). 26758-59) have well developed zonal structures. analysis for alkalis in this rock gave 0'05% Na 20 and 6'00% K 20 . 7. Many specimens (e . I I 1 ( 3 . bar ite. minor fluorite . comparatively large crystals of barite. The other type is rich in pale green fluorite. 4 ems .1962] BRAITHWAITE AND W. In the specimen sketched in Fig. 7) . which is followed abruptly by bari te. with scattered.14.B ARITE MINERALISATION 575 Downloaded by [189. small light-coloured "knots" rich in adularia are surrounded by pale fluorite with nodular texture . successive zones being : quartz.HTERS . FIG.210. minor fluorite (Figs. FIG. (i-Sketch of zon ed vein rock (26 7'9 ) .172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 Two unusual types of barite-bearing vein rock were collected at the south end of Prospect No . this passes rapidly through zoned fluorite to a homogeneous. 7-Sketch of zoned fluorite -bar ite vein rock (2 6758). 1. ba fl - fl o . green fluorite. though flawed. One of these ( 26764) is a siliceous rock and is composed of quartz and abundant adularia. much of which is zoned . Barite Fluorite Irr egular areal of quartz & adularia Barite Zoned fluorite o • I ! 2 ! 3 c~ . giving conspicuous banded and nodular textures (Fig. adularia. fluorite .

including late changes such as the crystallisation of jarosite.[(' . PARAGE NETIC SEQUENCE OF TH E VEIN M INERALS Two distinct types of veins may be recognised : the mainly siliceous veins.1 ..g" muscovite and pyrite. . the zoned rocks may well be simply a local variation of parts of the barite-rich veins caused by rhythmic changes in the composition of the fluids feeding the veins .1 ' (1 Ady l. .I ' I .. ~ .u: ' l(h V. to three main types : vein-filling and cavity-filling dep osits . [Nov . JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS .) . Mu\<o.-.?. 6 and 7) are probably not as distin ctly separated from the more widespread un zoned barite-r ich veins as is shown in Fig . I I-. there seems little doubt that the Thomson H ill . in which the barite is restr icted to certain beds in a sedimentary sequence . .. fh ' . with any certainty. relationships between the different minerals.· +1 I I IN> ..576 N .. ORIGIN Brobst ( 1958) showed that barite deposits in the United States belong. with few exceptions.:! . bedded deposits. seen. The time relation bet ween the siliceous veins and the bar ite-rich veins is uncer tain.Ttmf' . As far as possible. 8. L -__ 7: . ~ ~ ~ ." 0( 100(" Downloaded by [189.!. I b·o. for example. -.172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 0 1.:-oc : . The zoned barite-rich and fluorite -rich rocks (Figs. 8. Ftoc ru e ~ :~: ~ -~ I . '~. I I @TA?VZ2 I I . is shown schematically in Fig. in which concentrations of barite have been derived from pre-existing rocks..lf '. and the barite-rich veins . to believe that the barite-rich veins were formed a little after the siliceous vein rocks.1. Even though contact detail s are not always dear. AI!f' l t(N't o l U .\. I I I .lf' Pi ' ltf' to lImon I I I FI G. . however. I -- .T7~ I I I Lst e (" "" If" -. 'I " I .. the sequences have been based on the textural ~'''(f'OV' V~ on.. 11. and residual deposits.Z. The writers are inclined. in the adit at Prospect No.1 ~. I . e. but it has not been possible to determine the overlap of crystallisation of some of the mineral s. 8-Sugg ested mineral seq uence in Th omson Hill veins . as seen in thin section.-- .= Il'l. .14.!C R" . The sequence of mineral formation within each of these.210. I ~ I • I e"" .

p. Possibly. presumably during the final stages of evolution of the Separation Point Granite. and insignificant amounts at the other outcrops.210. but it is interesting to note that detection of hidden barite. 1 has been affected by hydrothermal action. make it probable that other barite masses exist in the marble below ground level. and utilisation of the Thomson Hill rock for this and most other purposes would require the removal of fluorite and quartz. The barite veins appear always to be enclosed by the Mount Arthur Marble. of hydrothermal origin.000. In the finely ground state barite is also used in the paint industry. The main use at present in New Zealand for barite (imported from Australia) is for weighting drilling mud. From the outcrops known. A minor use that has been suggested for the Thomson Hill barite is to provide aggregate for high-density concrete for nuclear-radiation shielding. the formation of the barite veins took place at about the same time as this suggested alteration. ECONOMIC ASPECTS Only a few thousand tons. but the ultimate derivation of these from veins is hardly in doubt. There.1962] BRAITHWAITE AND WATTERS . 23673). No satisfactory petrographic evidence of replacement of the calcite of the marble was seen. particularly the adularia and fluorite.1. It seems possible that the granite exposed at Prospect No. and Taylor (1944. bodies has been carried out in Missouri by detailed gravimetric surveying (Laurence. The occasional partial surface covering of barite on residual boulders of Tertiary rock near Prospect No. The occurrence at Thomson Hill bears some resemblance to those described by Laurence (1960) from the Sweetwater district of eastern Tennessee. therefore. The sporadic distribution of the bodies. p. 3 is probably due to redistribution of small amounts of barite during erosion of the Paleozoic landmass and deposition of the cover of lower Tertiary sediments.BARITE MINERALISATION 577 Downloaded by [189. A residual origin for isolated boulders or groups of boulders in solifluxion debris has been indicated above. probably not enough barite is readily accessible for commercial exploitation. 79) suggested that the decomposed granite outcropping between Baton Saddle and the Baton River had undergone similar alteration. 1960. Exploitation of such buried masses-if they existwould be difficult if not impracticable.172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 barite is a vein deposit. The relative frequency of such replacement as opposed to simple infilling of crevices and cavities in the marble is unknown. although indications of this are present in hand specimens from several places showing small barite veins in marble (23670.14. . probably no more than 3. A granitic source for the Thomson Hill veins is almost certain. the barite is found not only as irregular veins in brecciated dolomitised Ordovician limestone but also as loose masses within a residual clayey mantle overlying the bedrock. of barite-rich rock are estimated to be readily available at Prospect No. 178). as indicated by the minerals accompanying the barite. and the fact that the present land surface cuts through swollen portions of several veins.

Wellington.210. J. PARK. E. Nelson. Sun'. O.z. B1Jll. 1: 47-64. Sci. 1944: Decomposed Granite. N. G. T'ecb. REFERENCES BISHOP. E. Thomson Hill.14.. Amer. 1917: Baton River Fluor-Spar. 18-86. Jones. 11th Annu. Amer. Mineralogist 35: 556-61. O. Sur 1-. GRANGE. Richmond.s. C. J. MACPHERSON.S. 1961: Sheet 13-Golden Bay.. S. 1950: An Occurrence of Jarosite in Altered Volcanic Rocks of Stoddard Mountain. and from Mr 1. 20: 73-4.Z. HUTTON. A. J. A. 258A: 170-9. Geol. Geol. E. 35 (Compiled by G. W. u.z. Geol. Wellington. and in particular to Dr M. Tech.. R. Explor. P. Mines Department. Ret'.. 1072-B. O. Dep. Res. HENDERSON. Nelson.Z. Tennessee.Z.): 16. "Geological Map of New Zealand. Geol. Thanks are due to the Soil Bureau. Baton. Wangapeka Survey District. u. 1944: Deposit of Barite and Fluorspar. REED. Suru.172] at 12:09 04 May 2012 BROBST. U. LAURENCE. C. who first determined the nature of the jarosite collected at Thomson Hill.Z.000". Suru. 1 : 250.z. sa. Geopbys. 0. Nelson. 1. ]. San Bernardino County. Greymouth. 1. Lower Hutt. 1888-89. JOURNAL OF GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS [Nov. N. N. Sci. GRINDLEY. Downloaded by [189. 1959: The Geology of Motueka Subdivision. California. N. ].. 0. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors wish to acknowledge the help received in the field from Mr D. 1958: Barite Resources of the United States. Geol.s. J. B 25: . ]. Bull. Bradley vst. 1890: On the Occurrence of Fluor-spar at the Baton Goldfield. I. Rep. (n. Fieldes of the Soil Bureau. Nelson. n. SHAW). B 25: 178-80.z. ». Geol.. 1958: Granites and Mineralisation in New Zealand.578 N. D. and the Dominion Laboratory. 1960: Geologic Problems in the Sweetwater Barite District. Bullen. for chemical analyses and X-ray examination of samples. B. T. TAYLOR. BOWEN. Sci. MACPHERSON. ]. Industr.