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.


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