Story: Mining and underground resources

Copper staining, Kawau Island (1st of 2)

Copper staining, Kawau Island

Weathering of copper-bearing minerals produces a wide halo of staining (called a gossan) by secondary copper minerals – often blue-green malachite as in this rock on Kawau Island. The presence of such copper staining is a useful exploration tool, but the presence of economic amounts of ore can only be tested by drilling down into unweathered rock.

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Photograph by Eric Coppard

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How to cite this page:

Simon Nathan, 'Mining and underground resources - Metals known but not mined', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 January 2022)

Story by Simon Nathan, published 12 Jun 2006