Easterly Point Environmental – Radiological dose criteria for heavy mineral sand residues (HMSRs) in Queensland

This article by Marc Salmon explores the application of radiological criteria for dose rates related to gamma radiation at sites or decision areas impacted by heavy mineral sands residues (HMSRs), which are being assessed under the Queensland contaminated land framework. These sites can include former heavy mineral sands processing plants and mining sites, or other land where HMSRs have been placed as stockpiles or fill, pumped as tailings slurries, or used for trenching backfill, sub-slab bedding sands, top-dressing, and the like.

The ASC NEPM (2013, B1) describes that specialised forms of assessment are required for sites affected by, amongst others, radioactive substances. In situations where these occur, the ASC NEPM recommends that guidance for assessment requirements is sought from the relevant jurisdictional environmental or health authority. And that while the general principles of site assessment are applicable, compliance with specialised safety protocols and assessment guidance is essential to ensure the protection of human health and the environment.