Mineral sands, as with other mineral ores, mineral products and soils, contain natural occurring radioactive material (NORM). This is associated with low levels of naturally occurring uranium and thorium contained within the grains of the minerals we recover and return to the mine void.
While the level of NORM in most natural substances is low, any operation in which material containing radiation is extracted from the earth and processed can concentrate NORM in the mineral sands products, by-products and residue materials. For this reason, stringent, internationally-accepted radiation management standards are adopted to minimise the risk to human health and the environment.
We apply radiation management practices that are aligned with international best practice according to the publications of the International Commission on Radiological Protection, the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as the relevant jurisdiction’s legislation. We identify, assess and control risks associated with NORM, radon gas and man-made sources through all phases of our activities – exploration, project development, operations, rehabilitation and closure. Our Group Radiation Management Standard and site-specific radiation management plans ensure exposure to radiation meets the prescribed statutory limits and is as low as is reasonably achievable.