Sheet QM 379 Mackenzie : geological resource map of New Zealand 1:250,000

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Sewell, R.J.; Eggers, M.J.; Brown, L.J. 1989 Sheet QM 379 Mackenzie : geological resource map of New Zealand 1:250,000. Lower Hutt: New Zealand Geological Survey. New Zealand Geological Survey report M 174. 42 p.

Abstract: The metallic resources of Sheet QM 379 are almost solely restricted to areas west of the Alpine Fault. Gold is the most important commodity and is currently mined from alluvium and blacksand deposits. In the past, small quantities of silver and gold have been won from thin metalliferous quartz veins within the Greenland Group, but in general, auriferous mineralisation within the map sheet is weak. The principal non-metallic resources of Sheet QM 379 are located in the eastern part of the map sheet. Limestone and aggregate are the most abundant commodities; limestone being derived mostly from the Tertiary sequence, and aggregate from glacial outwash and alluvium of the Canterbury Plains. Vast quantities of earthworks construction materials were extracted from glacial outwash gravel and fan alluvium to build dams and canals of the Upper Waitaki Power Scheme. For over one hundred years, high grade lignite has been produced from the Late Cretaceous-Early Tertiary Broken River Formation. Locally, the coal has been heated to semi-anthracite rank by intrusion of igneous bodies. Small amounts of silica sand and clay suitable for industrial use have been obtained in various localities, but operations are now restricted to the Mt Somers area which also hosts the only working coalmine. There are no significant hydrocarbon shows in Sheet QM 379. The area of highest generative potential lies in the eastern part of the map sheet beneath the Canterbury Plains and offshore. Thermal springs occur in several areas adjacent to the Alpine Fault, but due to remoteness are not of commercial interest.