The MELROSE Mine Workings
MELROSE - SOUTH AUSTRALIA
AUG 28TH 2020
COPPER MINE & WORKINGS
Around the vicinity of the mine workings is comprised of the Wilmington Formation striking to the north-south and dipping west 80°-85°, metamorphism is present as Kyanite schist was visible at the main shaft. Faults strike east-west, all the mineralisation is associated with the crush zone. Other minerals that were located are sandstone, quartz with veins of blue-green carbonate matter along with calcites and copper pyrites. All mineral deposits were associated with surficial processes and unconformities, the areas structural geology is related to faults, shear, and fractures. The ore lode stratigraphy unit itself is called Quartz Vein Unit 4.
The Melrose Mine Workings
The copper prospect was discovered in 1846 the same year the Mount Remarkable copper mine was established, the Melrose Mine is located 1 mile Southwest of the Melrose Township, the land was once owned by Mr. Slee. The area was reported as a "hill of copper at the head of Spencers Gulf" by local police. During that same year the mine prospect site was surveyed in the Mount Remarkable Special Survey, exploration work was completed around that time with several trial shafts sunk into the ground over the line of copper mineralisation. The cost of transporting ore was high and with no signifigent stikes of copper the mines would lose money.
The Melrose Mine was worked again during 1873, 1907, and 1916-17, these were all financial failures, no commercial lode of any kind was ever located, new pits and adits were added as it was re-worked. The exploration did generate interest in the Mount Remarkable region giving the town of Melrose a good start. With no production figures available or any information of the working life of the mine not much is known today, the mines have been left Abandoned ever since the last workings in 1917 and are slowing getting filled back in by sediment that settles around the adit entrances.
Adits and Vertical Shafts
The surface workings are limited to two adits, and two vertical shafts, none of which are named as the mining complex is referred to only as the Melrose Mine. A tunnel was commissioned to intersect the main shaft workings but only got a few feet into the surrounding rock. The main shaft reached a depth of 24 meters while the adit was 40 meters long, other surrounding pits and trenches along with an open cut are located around the Melrose Mine workings.
One of the vertical shafts at a depth of 15ft is located in predominantly slate with interbedded tillites, argillaceous matters, and sandstones in an irregular formation. Mineralization in the shaft was only four feet wide and contained 2.4% copper, other ore minerals like veins of malachite and small traces of chalcopyrite were also present. It is unknown whether the ore lode developed more laterally, but it is slightly dipping to the east.
South Australian Government. (n.d.). SARIG geological map. SARIG.
South Australia. Department of Mines, Brown, H. Y. L. (Henry Yorke Lyell), Gee, L. C. E. (1908). Mining Records, Melrose In Record of the mines of South Australia. (Fourth Edition, pp. 80–81). Adelaide: C. E. Bristow, Government Printer.
Summers, K. W. A. (2005, June). Repot on Melrose copper mine. report book 35/00047. Department of Mines-South Australia.
Town of Melrose. (n.d.). | The Melrose Nature Walk [map, and information]. Tourism South Australia.