Radium Hill Historical Association

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The Mine


The Mine

The Radium Hill mine site's Brown Shaft headframe in the foreground, with the Main Shaft headframe in the centre behind the compressor house and Winder house to the right and Crusher house at the far left.

The mine was officially opened on 10 November 1954 by the then Governor General, Field Marshall Sir William Slim.


The Main Shaft was sunk to a depth of 420 metres, topped by a headframe 39 metres high.


The longest underground drive extended from the Main Shaft at co-ordinate 6800N to 3800N a distance of  915 metres. The orebody lodes dipped at angles from 30 to 70 degrees and ranged up to 5 metres in width averaging 1.2 metres. Mining methods followed conventional procedures for narrow stope mines as practised elsewhere in Australia. A large upcasting exhaust fan designed to operate in conjunction with the downcasting main shaft was the principle mine ventilation system.


The ore was hoisted to the surface in skips at a speed of 305 metres per minute where it was crushed to 1.5? and pre-concentrated by Heavy Media separation using Ferrosilicon suspension S.G. 2.85.


Further fine grinding by Ball Mills prepared the ore for the Flotation process where reagents of diesel fuel, linseed fatty acids, peltogen, and cresylic acid enabled uranium enriched concentrate to be filtered from waste material. A total of 150,000 tons of concentrate were railed to Pt. Pirie for further refining which produced 860 tons of yellow cake. This yellow cake was worth about 15 million pounds whilst the Government had invested 6.75 million pounds in developing the Radium Hill and Pt. Pirie centres.


Official closure of the mine occurred on December 21, 1961, at which time more than 3000 people had worked at Radium Hill for varying periods during the mines life.


Unfortunately by 1987 there were 54 ex-miners who had died of lung cancer.