Mary Kathleen

Once an important uranium mining centre, Mary Kathleen was 1,000 people strong until the mid 1970s. Now its an eerie set of roads with concrete slabs at the end of drive ways and encroaching grass. The remains of the town is now on private property. A few remnants were rescued and are on display at the Memorial Park and Museum in McIlwraith St, Cloncurry.

Location: 55 km from Mt. Isa; 62 km from Cloncurry.

Places of interest: Mary Kathleen mine site; Fountain Range (20 km south); The town mine treatment plant; Mary Kathleen Memorial Park and Museum in Cloncurry. A sign at the entry to the museum recalls the town's former glory.

Origin of name: The uranium deposits here were discovered by Walton and McConachy in 1954. The town was later named after the wife of Walton, Mary Kathleen Walton, who had died a couple of weeks prior to the discovery. The town named by the Surveyor-General in May 1956.


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Brief history

Ppastoralists had settled in the area in the 1860s, but it was not until 1954 that uranium was discovered. Within four years a model town and a mine were built to service a contract with the UK Atomic Energy Authority. Between 1958 and 1963 a total of 4,500 tonnes of uranium were produced. A world oversupply of uranium led to the mine lying idle until 1974, but it closed again within two years. In 1983 everything in the town from the houses to the public buildings and the equipment was put up for auction.

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