Mary Kathleen, Queensland

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The abandoned open pit of Mary Kathleen mine, 2009

Mary Kathleen was a mining settlement in the northwestern part of Queensland, Australia. It is located in the Selwyn Range between Mount Isa and Cloncurry.

Mary Kathleen was first settled during the 1860s.

Uranium mine[edit]

Mine terraces, 2011

In 1954, a significant uranium deposit was discovered at the site (20.7470°S, 140.0123°E).[1] Mary Kathleen Uranium Ltd. built a mine, with 4,080 tonnes of uranium oxide being extracted between 1958 and 1963. The mine then lay idle until 1974, when it was reopened. The second phase of production began in 1976 and the mine was finally closed down in 1982 after a further production of 4,802 tonnes of uranium oxide. A total of 31 million tonnes of ore were extracted from the mine until it was exhausted.[2] Processing occurred on-site.

Mary Kathleen's uranium deposits originated from contact metasomatic processes.[3] This type of occurrence is uncommon, with Mary Kathleen being the only commercial example. The uraninite here was conglomerated with garnet.[3]


The former town of Mary Kathleen has a unique feat in Australian Sport. The former Australian Rules club (Mary Kathleen) won three consecutive premierships from 1977 to 1979 in the Mount Isa Australian Football League, and is one of the few clubs or towns for that matter to win Senior titles, and no longer be in existence as a club or any population in its locality.


The township, mine and mill were dismantled and the tailings rehabilitated by the end of 1984.[1] The site, now only roads and concrete pads, can be accessed, as an overnight camp, from the Barkly Highway at -20.780837,139.9734.[4] The land has since been rehabilitated and is now suitable for grazing.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McKay, A.D. and Meiitis, Y. (2001), Australia's uranium resources, geology and development of deposits. (PDF), AGSO-Geoscience Australia, Mineral Resources Report 1, pp. 6–12, ISBN 0642467161, retrieved 2012-03-22 
  2. ^ Rosanne Barrett (19 November 2011). "Queensland's Mary Kathleen looks to uranium future". The Australian (News Limited). Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Bowie, Stanley (20 July 1978). "Uranium and its future". New Scientist 79 (1112): 198–200. 
  4. ^ "Mary Kathleen". The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). February 8, 2004. Retrieved 2007-07-06. 
  5. ^ "Environmental Aspects of Uranium Mining". World Nuclear Association. September 2009. Retrieved 2007-07-06. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 20°46′51″S 139°58′24″E / 20.780837°S 139.9734°E / -20.780837; 139.9734