Story: Nelson region

Dun Mountain and dunite

Dun Mountain and dunite

Dun Mountain (in the middle distance in the top image) is an unusual bare hill in the Bryant Range, south-east of Nelson city. Dunite rock (bottom) from Dun Mountain is composed almost entirely of interlocking grains of yellowish-green olivine, with tiny black grains of chromite. It weathers to form very infertile soils on which no trees can grow. Where the belt of dunite gives way to other rock types, there is dense forest. About 5,000 tonnes of ore containing copper and chromite were mined at Dun Mountain between 1858 and 1866, but only very small amounts of minerals were present and it was not a paying proposition.

Using this item

GNS Science
Reference: CN1191/11 (top); GNS_RC_Dn_09 (bottom)
Photographs by Lloyd Homer (top); Richard Cook (bottom)

Permission of GNS Science must be obtained before any use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Carl Walrond, 'Nelson region - Geology and landforms', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/28804/dun-mountain-and-dunite (accessed 23 January 2020)

Story by Carl Walrond, updated 1 Aug 2015