The Pilbara is a large, dry, sparsely populated region in the north of Western Australia known for its vast mineral deposits.
It is larger than California and about twice the size of the UK yet has only about 40,000 inhabitants.
Within this huge area are numerous volcanic formations that contain deposits of agates.
Oldest Agates in the world.
The Pilbara Craton which encompasses the area where the agates are found hosts some of the world's oldest rocks .
This includes the Maddina Basalt that has a proven age of 3.48 billion years.
Agates have been collected for testing with uranium-lead radiometric dating however the agates do not contain uranium,
so an age-link with the host rock is not possible.
Studies have shown that the Maddina Basalt underwent low grade metamorphism,
probably due to burial around 2 billion years ago.
As the agates appear to have been affected by these events, then it is likely that they were in place before this time.
So it can be said that the Maddina Basalt agates were probably formed between 2 and 2.72 billion years ago.