Uranium Mining in Australia

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted December 1, 2006

There may be a bit of truth to the television ballyhoo from beer companies and chain steakhouses that everything is bigger in Australia. That’s because when it comes to natural resources, it’s actually true.

Australia has a literal treasure trove of natural resources, including significant deposits of coal, iron ore, aluminum, natural gas, and gold. One of the continent’s most important natural resources is also uranium.

History of Uranium in Australia

Australia has a long history of uranium mining that dates back nearly 150 years.

During his original survey for the new town of Darwin in 1869, George Goyder found a green-colored material that he knew was not copper. Goyder could not identify the mineral, and it remained a historical obscurity for decades.

That was until 1949 when John Michael White, a local prospector and farmer, discovered the same green-colored material in the area one day while out hunting kangaroos.

This discovery would later be named the Rum Jungle uranium deposit, named after an accident that occurred back in 1871. According to local legend, a bullock-wagon loaded with rum destined for construction gangs got stuck in a patch of jungle on the East Finniss River. The bullockies, unable to free the wagon, untethered the oxen and set about drinking the rum, having one of histories most glorious binges. Thereafter the area was known as Rum Jungle.

Since the Rum Jungle discovery 137 years ago, massive amounts of uranium have been found throughout the country. It is estimated that Australia is home to between 20% and 25% of all the world’s uranium reserves. Current recoverable resources total appromixately 1.3 million tonnes of U3O8. The majority of these reserves have been discovered in South Australia with other important uranium deposits in Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory.

Uranium Mining in Australia Today

There are only three currently producing Australian uranium mines. However, these three uranium mines are massive. They currently produce over 11,000 tonnes of uranium per year.

Last year, Australia accounted for 22% of global uranium exports, making up 40% of the country’s total energy exports. And the country is only planning on increasing nationwide uranium output.

The major uranium miners in Australia are BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam Mine, producing 4,600 tonnes a year, Rio Tinto’s Ranger Mine that produces 5,500 tonnes a year, and Heathgate Resources’ Beverley Mine, which produces 1,180 tonnes a year.

Australia will open two additional uranium mines, the Jabiluka mine in the Northern Territory and the Honeymoon mine in southern Australia, in the next few years. These new mines will significantly increase production of uranium mining in Australia.

Australian Uranium Stocks

Even though Australia is thousands of miles away for most of us, establishing Australian uranium exposure is easier than you might think. There are many public companies that produce, or are exploring for, Australian uranium that are listed on American and Canadian exchanges.

Below is a list of over 50 public companies that have exposure to uranium mining in Australia.

  • Acclaim Exploration
  • Adelaide Resources Limited
  • Arafura Resources
  • Apex Minerals
  • Ashburton Minerals
  • Australian United Gold
  • Avian Mining Pty Ltd
  • Batavia Mining
  • BHP Billiton
  • Bullion Minerals
  • Alliance Resources
  • Bannerman Resources
  • Cazaly Resources
  • Compass Resources
  • Contact Resources
  • Curnamona Energy
  • Deep Yellow
  • Energy Metal
  • Energy Resources of Australia
  • Equinox Minerals
  • Extract Resources
  • Georgetown Mining
  • Gold Search
  • Golden State Resources
  • Goldstream Mining
  • Glengarry Resources
  • Giralia Resources
  • Green Rock Energy
  • Havilah Resources
  • Hindmarsh resources
  • Image Resources
  • Jindalee Resources
  • Kalgoorlie Boulder Resources
  • Korab Resources
  • Marathon Resources
  • Matrix Metals
  • Minotaur Exploration
  • Monaro Mining
  • Monax Mining
  • Nickel Australia
  • Nova Energy
  • Omegacorp
  • Paladin Resources
  • Pepinnini Minerals
  • Polaris Metals
  • Red Metal
  • Redport
  • Reefton Mining
  • Rio Tinto
  • Scimitar Resources
  • Siberia Mining Corporation
  • Southern Gold
  • Southern Cross Exploration
  • Stellar Resources
  • Summit Resources
  • Uranex
  • Uranium Exploration Australia

The job may be laborious, but searching for and finding a quality stock with exposure to uranium mining in Australia may be very rewarding as uranium prices continue to climb.

Uranium Prices

Uranium jumped another $0.50 this week, bringing current uranium prices to $63.00/lb, which is up considerably since 2001.


We believe that the uranium will top the $100 mark over the next several months because of the growing gap between supply and demand.

In 1978, the overall commodity bull market pushed the energy metal to an inflation-adjusted high $145 per pound, so there’s still plenty of room to grow.

This has the potential to push Australian uranium stocks much, much higher.

Good Investing,

Greg McCoach and the Gold World Research Team
Editor, Gold World
Investment Director, Mining Speculator

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