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Author Topic: Places to find radioactive rocks?  (Read 1141 times)

Rej

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Places to find radioactive rocks?
« on: May 16, 2018, 03:08:34 PM »
Hello all,

I've just bought a small Geiger counter kit and am now looking for places to hunt radioactive rocks, ideally around Brisbane or within a few hours drive from Brisbane.

The only "nearby" place I'm aware that has anything interesting is Torrington, which I've been told has Tobernite, (and that's definitely on my list next time I head down that way) but maybe someone knows a place that's closer? I haven't found much discussion on this in my searches. I've read some granites have higher than average concentrations of uranium ores, but I'm not sure if that applies to the formations nearby...

I have bits of zircon and topaz which are slightly above background radiation but I'd like to find something hotter than that.

And no, I'm not looking to stockpile or enrich anything. (move along ASIO / NSA)

Thanks for any info.


Aussie Sapphire

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 04:40:41 PM »
The person to ask is one of our members Plutonium (appropriate name).

http://aussielapidaryforum.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=443

He has a special interest in radioactive minerals.

cheers
Leah
Aussie Sapphire - The Lapidary Warehouse

Rej

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 06:15:32 PM »
Indeed, he shows up in every mention of "radioactive" on this forum. I just thought I'd ask publicly instead of PM'ing for  the sake of visibility.

Of course I understand that posting collecting spots on a public forum potentially means lurkers seeing it and ruining it for everyone so I'm happy to accept PM's if it needs to be kept under wraps...

Tailor marc

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 06:27:32 PM »
If your ever in WA let me now I know a place 400klm east of Perth if interested

Gemster

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 11:56:56 PM »
At the end of WW2 there was quite an extensive search for Radioactive Minerals in the Torrington and Emmaville area, with quite a few minerals found... Gadens Mine was one place that was looked at... And just up the road(400m) was a Torbernite Mine... I have the Report somewhere about that search for RA Minerals... Dave Innes at Inverell also has a Collection of RA Minerals and a few of them are from local areas...

   Gemster.... beers
I swing a 12-pound hammer,smash gibbers by the ton
I used to think it convict work,but now i think it's FUN

Rej

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 10:18:00 AM »
Thanks guys.

Gemster, if you get a second, I'd love to see that report.

Ron at the Emmaville museum put some dots on the Torrington mud map for me last time I was down there about Tobernite near Blather Ck., but that's about it.

I'm just doing some Googling about Gaden's Mine and reading John's blog post on it, it seems there's lots of small old mines in the area that would be worth a look, thanks for the tip!

Gemster

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2018, 12:05:14 PM »
No worries Rej. ;)... PM me your Email address and I will send it to you.... Have you had a look on Mindat for RA minerals?.....

https://www.mindat.org/

  Gemster.... beers
I swing a 12-pound hammer,smash gibbers by the ton
I used to think it convict work,but now i think it's FUN

starsapphire78

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2018, 05:42:33 PM »
 I have a few RA shinnies in my collection, Torbanite , and one other. Who's name I can not recall

Plutonium

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2018, 06:34:49 PM »
Sorry for the slow response guys, I haven't logged in much lately. A few other things taking up my time.
I mostly know the areas around SE Australia. Finding radioactive treasure in Australia can be surprisingly hard. One of the reasons is there seems to have been an effort to censor the information.

In NSW,
Blackfellows Dam near Nymagee is the most well known and hardest to find.
Other areas include Torrington, Cacoar, Toongi, Whipstick, Washpool, Watsons Creek.
I have also found some radioactive rocks around Broken Hill, but there seems to be no consistency.
It's like somebody just just dropped one at random on each dump.

Granite is always notorious for being radioactive, but it is generally very low unless you hold your geiger counter up to a large amount like a road cutting on the Moonbi batholith near Tamworth.

Thorium can be found at Torrington and North NSW and SEQ beaches have heavy mineral sands on them. You can usually find it at the northern end of beaches, the brown bands in the sand as you dig down.

Victoria basically has nothing. Lake Boga has some minor occurrences.

I haven't looked much into Queensland. Cloncurry is well known for radioactive minerals and the various Uranium mining operations give you a good place to start.

In South Australia there are a few locations to look. Radium hill is the most obvious, but it's on private property and you have to get permission. But it's not hard to find where the old railway branch line used to be and walking along the old narrow gauge track bed you can find ore all the way back to Port Pirie.

In NT there are a couple of areas that you can explore, but most of them are on mining or aboriginal land. Adelaide River has an old mine that is a bit of fun to explore. One of the mine shafts is only a short walk of a local road and you can easily find small amounts of metatorbinite in the dump.

WA there are a few places, but I've not done any research on the locations.

You will find radioactive minerals at the various lapidary and mineral shows.
Most people are used to seeing me and a few other friends lurking around with geiger counters.

But be prepared to get some strange looks and even stranger questions.
I'm always happy to answer people's questions. But occasionally I cross paths with a crystal healing hippie and they go into a kind of catatonic shock :D
 I have been asked to check crystals for "bad auras".  It still makes me laugh, but I'm more than happy to do it.


If you want practice finding radioactive stuff, then look no further than your local op shop or antiques store. There is all kinds of radioactive goodies to be found and you will often be surprised by what and how many things are radioactive. Leave no stone unturned. :)

Uranium glass, Radium Watches, Thorium Camera lenses, smoke detectors, welding rods, gas lantern mantels are some of the favourites.

It's important to be familiar with the sensitivity of your geiger counter and types of radiation because there are lots of variables.
   
Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

tinker

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2018, 04:09:35 PM »
Plutonium, Whipstick is not far from me, cross whipstick creek nearly every day on the way to Wyndham.  What radioactive rock is found around there,


Plutonium

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2018, 09:03:10 PM »
Oh you really are going to test me. :)
My memory for places is excellent, but when you know how hard it is to find the actual information on NSW Uranium deposits, it is a real test.

Lucky I treasure this information as much as the minerals themselves.
This is from one of the sources I have.
"The Jingera Bismuth mins are located at Whipstick, 23km west of Pambula. The deposits which include the Mount Metallic and Pheasants Nest workings are irregular pipe veins up to six metres in diameter in granite. A large quantity of Bismuth and Molybdenite has been produced. Silver values were high in a few places and some of the Molybdenite ore is appreciably radioactive, a little Uranium mineral being present."

I haven't found the other articles yet, but from memory small amounts of Torbernite have been found there.   
Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

Rej

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2018, 03:30:24 PM »
Thanks Plutonium, my research so far has yielded the same conclusion so far: very hard to find info and very few places... :'(

I guess I expected there to be more localities since you hear so much about Uranium mining and how Aus has the largest reserves of it in the world... sucks that it's mostly all in 2-3 spots!

I've read the old mining reports on Emmaville / Torrington that Gemster sent me, plus a few others I found online and I'm definitely going to do some investigating that way when I head down in a few weeks.

I'm also planning a exploration visit to Stradbroke Is. to concentrate and collect some minerals sands, hopefully the Thorium concentration is high enough to register.

I did go to the Lismore show with my Geiger counter kit and waved it around any rock I was allowed to, finally stumbling on Peter Beckwith who was happy to pull out his "hot specimen tray" for me. I picked up a small piece of Davidite from SA from him which really gets the meter going ;D

I actually managed to scare my first hippy while scanning Peter's specimens. He came over and asked what we were doing, my friend answered "He's buying radioactive rocks". Apparently the guy then recoiled, put his hands out in a futile attempt to shield from the gammas and walked away pretty quickly. Hehe.  beers

I've also been to my local op-shop and did find an old British tea saucer that had a suspicious glowing yellow glaze on the porcelain. Only 3-4 times background but still produced some clicks. The guy working there was very accommodating when I asked for permission to wave my little black box over his wares and was genuinely happy when I found something. (He joked he'd put a radioactive sign on it and bump up the price) No depression glassware unfortunately. I'm more into rocks anyway.

I've ordered a pancake detector tube (SBT10a) to use as an external probe for my kit so hopefully that arrives before the trip to New England.

I'll update this thread with my findings. Thanks everyone.



Plutonium

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2018, 07:44:26 PM »
Welcome to the club, you sound like you've got a good handle on it already.
Peter probably mentioned me when you saw him. I was the first person to surprise him with a geiger counter. He'll tell you all kinds of stories about the crystal healing hippies and my adventures with them.
 While I consider them to be a little out of touch with reality, they are nice people. Some of them have learned a bit about nuclear physics from me. Others have just come to realise that I'm not out to get them, not unless they say something dangerously stupid.

I've been to Lismore a couple of times. I didn't go this year. Most shows the geiger counter doesn't bother anybody because it doesn't touch or damage minerals. And most stall owners are interested to know what is radioactive. I often tell them what I find and how it compares as well as sharing information about specific minerals and their radioactivity.
 Peter doesn't even have to open the boxes, I just wave the counter over them and pull out the box that matters :D

I'm pretty good at picking out radioactive minerals even without the counter, but I do not overlook anything. I would not normally stop to check opals, but every now and then if I see something different or unusual I will check.  The last surprise I got was megalodon teeth.

A few of us are on the radioactive facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/948692475251637/



Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

Rej

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2018, 09:38:40 PM »
So I went to North Stradbroke today with my little one, hunting for Thorium. Read all about it here if you're interested:

http://aussielapidaryforum.com/forum/index.php?topic=6232.0

« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 09:40:19 PM by Rej »

Rej

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Re: Places to find radioactive rocks?
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2018, 09:56:19 AM »
Just an update here if anyone is following along.

I've just gotten back from a rainy school holidays trip to Inverell / Torrington / Emmaville and I'm happy to report I've found something radioactive! It might not look like much but the small green crystals growing on these altered quartz pieces are meta-Torbernite (hydrated copper uranium phosphate)



They were found at Gaden's copper mine north of Emmaville. One piece looked like it had been left behind in the "car park" by someone on the Gemorama field trip, so thanks to that person and maybe check your specimens to see if you've got transparent green crystals on the pieces you did take home!

Many thanks to those who helped with info about the area (Gemster) and HUGE thanks to Lord Thunda who took time out to show a couple of ALFers around his neck of the woods on Saturday, absolute top bloke!  beers

Here's a video of the torbernite crystals producing some clicks on the Geiger counter for those who are into videos of rocks and clicks.  ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPEewCtU33s


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