Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Numbat


Numbats are Australian marsupial’s now only found in Western Australia. They grow to 35cm-45cm in size and have reddish-brown fur with distinctive stripes. They are the only Australian animal to feed entirely on termites (white ants), of which they can eat up to 20,000 a day.

Numbats are seen to be active during the day and live in open woodlands, taking shelter from predators in logs and burrows. They are best seen at Dryandra Woodland, near Narrogin, and at Perup Forest near Manjimup in Western Australia.

First discovered by European settlers in 1831, the numbat population has been wiped out in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia due to the introduction of the European red fox in the 19th century.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Australian Uranium Mines

Uranium Dioxide

Australia is one of the world’s largest suppliers of uranium along with Kazakhstan and Canada. Although uranium is a common element in the Earth’s crust – it is typically 40 times more abundant than silver – there are only limited places in the world where its concentration makes it economically viable to mine. Australia is believed to have the world’s largest deposits of uranium.

Uranium Mines

Australia currently operates three uranium mines: Olympic Dam and Beverly in South Australia and Ranger in the Northern Territory. There are several other notable deposits and potential mining sites scattered across the country.

In 2010 Australia produced nearly 7000 tonnes of U3O8 which was down significantly on previous years, with exports falling to A$700M in the year compared to over A$1B in previous years.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Pinnacles


The Pinnacles are an alien-like landscape located in Western Australia. Thousands of these limestone formations protrude from the ground in the Nambung National Park. Although the process of their formation is uncertain, it is believed the limestone material came from the sea shells of marine creatures in an earlier era. It is suspected that the pinnacles were exposed some 6,000 years ago and then covered again by shifting desert sands, only to be uncovered again a few hundred years ago.