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URANIUM IN N.Z.

i NEW BOMB'S ENERGY I RESULT OF INTENSIVE SEARCH O.C. DUNEDIN, this day. Uranium, the source of energy in the new atomic bomb, has been found in promising quantities in New Zealand, but not in the high concentrations of Canada and the Belgian Congo. This was disclosed to-day by the ■ secretary of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, Dr. E. Marsden in an interview. The existence of this mineral in the Dominion had not previously been reported but extensive searches made during the last two years after research on the atomic bomb developed, had shown that fairly substantial quantities could be recovered here, probably along with other mining activities. About a month ago the Minister in Charge of Scientific and Industrial Research authorised a meeting of officers of the geological division with three professors of the university, including Dr. Gordon J. Williams, new director of the Otago School of Mines, to examine the evidence and consider the geological aspects of a search for possible economic uranium resources in New Zealand. This group will report in due course to the Government and the Mines Department. While in England about two years ago Dr. Marsden was introduced to the possibilities of uranium as a weapon of war and, sensing its coming importance, he immediately requested Dr. C. O. Hutton, Petrologist in the Government Geological Survey, to institute a search in New Zealand for uranium minerals. At that time none had been reported present in the Dominion's mineral deposits. An intensive search was begun by the staff of the Geological Survey, with attention first being paid to the concentrates produced from gold dredge recoveries. As a result of a laboratory examination there was discovered the new uranium mineral known as uranothorite, which contains 11.5 per cent cf uranium and 60 per cent of thorium. The concentration, was small, however, and would call for a high degree of engineering skill. Further research undertaken since that time had shown that certain monsite sands thought to contain thorium only also contained from one to one and a half per cent of uranium. "I would like to stress that although this mineral has been found in New Zealand, its recovery by th<? old-fashioned methods of mining is not economically practicable." said Dr. Marsden. "Methods of treatment must be up to date. It is possible, however, that uranium may be recovered in conjunction with gold and other rare metal contents of sands and, as such, may be an economic proposition." (Other reference to the atomic bomb appears on Page 3.)

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19450814.2.64

Bibliographic details

URANIUM IN N.Z., Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 191, 14 August 1945

Word Count
426

URANIUM IN N.Z. Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 191, 14 August 1945

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