Radium Hill
Olary Block
eastern South Australia, Australia
32°20'S 140°37'E; alt. 190m (623’)

Note: This page is still under construction

Radium Hill
Now a "ghost town" south of the barrier Highway. The population peaked at 867 in 1961. 23km south of Cutana (linked by rail (abandoned) and road) and near the Olary Creek. Cutana is 29km east of Olary and 14 km west of Mingary. Another road to Radium Hill, 29km long, leaves the Highway 15km east of Olary (53km west of Cockburn).

Radium Hill was ?discovered by the noted Australian explorer, Sir Douglas Mawson.

Radium Hill was the location of probably the first discovery of radioactive ore in Australia, supported by mining operations mainly extracting davidite, which occurred with biotite, rutile and ilmenite in fracture planes in Pre-Cambrian gneiss. Davidite, a mixture of mineralogies, was named after eminent Australian geologist Sir Edgeworth David. It is one of about eight economically significant source minerals for radium, which occurs in a total of about 115 mineral species. Radium is a radioactive decay product of Uranium, which was first isolated in 1898. Uranium occurs as the naturally fissionable U238 and as the more abundant U235 which after reactor treatment yields fissionable plutonium, much sought after the United States decided in 1942 to develop the atomic bomb.

Mining at Radium Hill ceased during World War I, resumed 1923-1934, and again 1952-1962 (with a purchase guarantee from the British and United States governments) after which oversupply precipitated the third and last closure.


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Ghost town south of the barrier Highway. Location of probably the first discovery of radioactive ore in Australia, supported by mining operations mainly extracting davidite, which occurred with biotite, rutile and ilmenite in fracture planes in Pre-Cambrian gneiss. Davidite, a mixture of ?mineralogies, was named after eminent Australian geologist Sir Edgeworth David. It is one of about eight economically significant source minerals for radium, which occurs in a total of about 115 mineral species. Radium is a radioactive decay product of Uranium, which was first isolated in 1898. Uranium occurs as the naturally fissionable U235 and as the more abundant U235 which after reactor treatment yields fissionable plutonium, much sought after the United States decided in 1942 to develop the atomic bomb.
Mining at Radium Hill ceased during World War I, resumed 1923-1934, and again 1952-1962 (with a purchase guarantee from the British and United States governments) after which oversupply precipitated the third and last closure. The population peaked at 867 in 1961. 23km south of Cutana (linked by rail (abandoned) and road) and near the Olary Creek. Cutana is 29km east of Olary and 14 km west of Mingary. Another road to Radium Hill, 29km long, leaves the Highway 15km east of Olary (53km west of Cockburn).

 


You were Visitor Number since 12th October 1999
This Page was Last Updated on
12th October 1999

Any questions or comments, please send an eMail to Ross Beattie.

Ó 7th March 1999, Ross Beattie