Eva, also known as Pandanus Creek
Brief description of impact/history
Eva is an old uranium mine located 16 km west of the Queensland border in the Northern Territory, it is 50km south of Redbank Copper Mine. The first uranium find at Pandanus Creek was made by R T Norris in 1955, and the following year Eva Clarke, Norris’ niece, soon discovered the main orebody, simply by picking up yellow pebbles which Norris found to be radioactive.
Although exploration appears to have stopped after about 1982, a visit by the Mineral Policy Institute (MPI) observed recent exploration work and materials for ongoing activity (eg. containers, piping, etc). The leases are now owned by NuPower Resources Limited, who (apparently) are keen to pursue a potential mining project despite the infinitessimally small deposit size.
The waste rock dump (the 3,000 t at ~1% U3O8 rejected in the hand sorting process), registers very high levels of gamma radiation at 50 µGy/hour at the top and around 35 µGy/hour at the base (Construction Group, 1988). A second stockpile nearby registered 30-40 µGy/hour. These gamma levels were considered potentially hazardous. Gamma radiation levels were measured by the Mineral Policy Institute (MPI) on 27 June 2011, shown below. The readings show a clear dispersion of radioactive material away from the stockpile, with both drainage lines showing elevated gamma radiation 1.7 and 1.8 µGy/hour. A sample of yellow uranium minerals, coated on rocks, shows a gamma level of 35.1 µGy/hour.
The site clearly remains poorly rehabilitated.
Battey, G C, Miezitis, Y & McKay, A D, 1987, Australian Uranium Resources. Resource Report 1, Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology & Geophysics (aka ‘BMR’), Canberra, ACT, 76 p.
Construction Group, 1988, Rehabilitation Proposals for Abandoned Uranium Mines in the Northern Territory. Construction Group, Report 88/2, Commonwealth Dept. of Administrative Services, April 1988, 114 p.
Hare, R, 1965b, Pandanus Creek Uranium Deposit. Proc. “8TH Commonwealth Mining and Metallurgical Congress”, Vol. 3, Ch. 9 – Uranium (Collated by M L Fitzgerald & F R Hartley), Ed. J T Woodcock, AusIMM, Melbourne, VIC, pp 227.