The Rare Earth Industry and Technology Association (REITA) has released the first in a series of white papers devoted to taking a balanced look at a wide variety of issues important to rare earth supply chain stakeholders.
“Handling and Management of Thorium and Uranium in Mining and Processing of Rare Earth Minerals” is available for downloading on the White Papers page of the REITA web site.
The white paper contains background information on a variety of issues related to the effective recovery and management of thorium and/or uranium. “On the one hand we cover issues related to the known health effects from thorium and uranium exposure in addition to the major exposure pathways for workers and the environment in mining and milling operations,” said the white paper’s author, Brian Park of the Center for Advanced Mineral and Metallurgical Processing (CAMP) at Montana Tech.
“On the other hand the paper also gets into the regulatory issues and procedures from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) guidance documents on the permitting process, and finishes with four case studies describing how current and prospective rare earth operations are approaching these issues. Numerous internet references are also provided for the interested reader if they desire to learn more,” said Park.
“Brian and his collaborators have done an excellent job in documenting how the very real risks associated with the removal of Thorium and Uranium from rare earth minerals can be accomplished and managed safely protecting workers and the environment,” said Keith Delaney, REITA’s executive director. “One of REITA’s guiding principles is that environmental excellence must be applied throughout rare earth supply chains, and this paper demonstrates that worker and environmental health are imperatives that can be totally compatible with the commercialization of rare earth resources in a variety of global jurisdictions.”