Westmoreland, QLD - Rio Tinto
(Rio Tinto formerly known as RTZ-CRA or CRA)
located north-western Queensland, 400 km north of Mount Isa. It is also near CRA's Century Zinc deposit (now likely to be a mine).
first signs of uranium discovered in 1956 with later exploration work showing a series of small deposits and prospects spread over a 50 km area straddling the Queensland-Northern Territory border.
reserves (as at 1990) for the principal uranium deposits total 12,000 tonnes of uranium oxide in ore grading 0.166% U3O8, comprising 4,500 tonnes probable and 7,500 tonnes possible reserves.
in 1990 CRA Exploration Pty Ltd entered the Queensland Mines (48.56%) - Urangesellschaft (40.14%) - Hammersley (11.3%) Joint Venture and took over the exploration work with a view to earning equity in the Joint Venture.
after the first uranium was discovered in 1956, further anomalies were recognised in outcrops of the Westmoreland conglomerate held by Mt Isa Mines Ltd (MIM). This later came under a Joint Venture set up by MIM and the Zinc Corporation Ltd to explore the Gulf District. Followign work in 1956-59 three mining leases were pegged.
another exploration phase started in 1967, and company ownership has gone through several stages since.
AAR is also part (12.75%) of a consortium exploring for uranium in northern Queensland at Westmoreland. Other partners in the JV are Urangesellschaft 37.5%, Queensland Mines 40%, and IOL 9.75%. The venture is being vigorously opposed by north Queensland Aborigines: see Queensland Mines. There has been emphatic resistance to Honeymoon: see MIM for details.
AAR held 75.5% together with Teton Australia in the Gould's Dam or Billeroo uranium prospect, 150km west-northwest of Broken Hill in South Australia. As of March 1981 reserves were 1260 tonnes of contained uranium oxide.
The Westmoreland uranium prospect in which CSR holds 12.75% (other partners are Queensland Mines, IOL Petroleum and Urangesellschaft) looks like a bum steer: only 11,400 tons of uranium have been identified and the companies say 15,000 would be required to make the project economically viable (see Queensland Mines).
Queensland Mines' interests in uranium at Westmoreland (northern Queensland) have also attracted the strong opposition of the Aboriginal custodians of the land: Mick Miller, Joyce Hall and Jacob Wolmby of the North Queensland Land Council (a completely Aboriginal body) demanded that Queensland's partners at Westmoreland - Urangesellschaft should get off their land when the NQLC visited Urangesellschaft's offices in West Germany in 1978.
Information from the "The Gulliver File" Dossiers.
Last Updated - December 26, 1997.
Back to the Uranium Deposits Page or Back to the SEA-US Front Page
Copyright © SEA-US 1997