Beverley Uranium Mine
Processing plant of the Beverley Uranium Mine
|Company||Heathgate Resources Pty. Ltd.|
The Beverley Mine is Australia's third uranium mine and Australia's first operating in-situ recovery mine. It is located 35 km from Lake Frome at the northern end of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia and opened in 2001. Beverley Uranium Mine was discovered by one of Bill Siller's companies and was named after his wife—Beverley Siller.
Beverley is a paleaochannel uranium deposit. The uranium mineralisation (mainly coffinite) is hosted by loose sands in the channel of a former river. The ore bearing horizon is now at a depth of about 100 to 150m. The deposit is estimated to contain 21,000 tonnes of uranium oxide for a mine life of 15 to 30 years. Uranium is extracted by in-situ leaching, involving the injection of a fluid containg sulphuric acid and hydrogen peroxide into the ore-bearing permeable horizon to mobilise the uranium. The fluid is then recovered and uranium is extracted at a central plant using ion-exchange. The final concentrate is trucked to Port Adelaide and then shipped to oversea customers.
Between 1998 and 2007, Heathgate reported 57 spill incidents to Primary Industries and Resources South Australia (PIRSA).
In 2005, the Four Mile uranium deposit was discovered a few kilometres north-west of Beverley. The deposit is owned by Quasar Resources, (a 100% subsidiary of Heathgate), and Alliance Resources. Development of the deposit was approved in 2009. It is planned to do the final uranium extraction and concentrate production for Four Mile at the Beverley Plant.
The mine borders on the protected Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary that has also been subjected to uranium mining. Following unprecedented public pressure, the South Australian government announced on 22 July 2011 that steps would be taken to ban mining and exploration in Arkaroola.
- "FAQ's:The Mine". Heathgate Resources. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- Sabra Lane (2008-08-28). "Garrett approves Beverley uranium mine expansion" (Transcript). PM on ABC Local Radio. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- Beverley Uranium Mine Spill Incident summary as reported by Heathgate Resources 1998-2003, pir.sa.gov.au
- Beverley Uranium Mine Spill Incident summary as reported by Heathgate Resources 2004-2007, pir.sa.gov.au
- "Premier Mike Rann announces permanent protection for Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary". Herald Sun. 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2011-10-06.