Camped 58 km east Mt Isa at Mary Kathleen - in 1954 Uranium was discovered and by 1956 development had proceeded to the extent that a contract for the supply of 4,082 tonnes of Uranium oxide to the value of $80 million was negotiated to the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). Mary Kathleen township was located approx 5 kms from the mine site in a lovely valley at the convergence of two creeks. Production ceased on 4th October 1963 after the contract tonnage had been produced - the plant and mine were then "mothballed" and placed on a maintenance basis until additional contracts could be negotiated.
|Remains of Mary Kathleen town monument and fountain|
|What was originally the bank site - all that remains are the tiles|
|What the houses at Mary Kathleen looked like (this one was transferred to Cloncurry Museum)|
Next day we drove out to Mine Site - the size of the open cut is quite extensive, covering at least 1-2kms in length - en-route to the mine we came across a few camels just roaming around. Back from the mine we drove around the town and with the aid of a township map saw where different buildings were situated incl Bowling club, tennis courts, basketball courts, school site, library, bank, Town Office, Medical Centre, Fire Station, Police Station, PO (even had small slabs where telephone booths would have been), Wet Mess. Also drove out to Clem Walton Park, through Station gate to Camp Site - very stagnant water. Had a quick look at Corella Dam and was shocked at the number of vans now camped there! In the cool of the evening we had a walk around the 'town' and could not believe that so little remains.
|Just keeping an eye on us!|
|Mary Kathleen mine site|
|Morning Tea stop at ruins of the mine plant|
|Mine plant ruins - huge concrete foundations as part of the process plant|
Had some sad news on our departure as our friend Stephen from Susan River had passed away - cheers to a wonderful man we were so fortunate to meet.
Drove to Cloncurry then travelled on the Burke Development Road towards Normanton, stopping on the way at Burke & Wills Roadhouse for lunch and an icecream! About 10kms before our camp spot at Bang Bang we came across heaps of termite mounds looking very much like city buildings, maybe another lost city!
|City of termite mounds - pity they don't mow the lawn!!|
Found a magic camp site out the back of Bang Bang free camp where we stayed for 2 nights.
|Campsite at Bang Bang|