Mining & mineral processing
People involved in the mining or milling of radioactive ores must hold a licence from the EPA. Generally this applies to the mining and processing of ore for the production of uranium or thorium concentrates.
Any premises where unsealed radioactive substances are handled or kept must be registered. Generally this applies to:
- mining and mineral processing operations for the separation of heavy minerals from mineral sands ore
- the mining and processing of other minerals that contain small quantities of uranium, thorium or their decay products
- processes that lead to the production of commodities, by-products, residues or wastes not normally considered radioactive, but that contain naturally occurring radionuclides
- legacy sites: former mining or mineral processing sites where waste is being managed or rehabilitation is in progress.
Operations in (2) and (3) are often referred to as NORM operations. These operations involve substances containing naturally occurring radioactive materials that are of sufficient levels to be radiologically significant.
Conditions of licence or registration
This type of licence or registration will commonly require that you comply with the Code of Practice on Radiation Protection and Radioactive Waste Management in Mining and Mineral Processing (2005) (ARPANSA RPS 9).
If you conduct category 3 operations, you may also be required to comply with the Safety Guide on the Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) 2008 (ARPANSA RPS.15) or other more specific requirements if necessary.
You will also be required to prepare plans to manage the levels of radiation exposures to people and the environment, and to manage radioactive materials and wastes.
Applying for a licence or registration
The Minister for Environment and Conservation is responsible for assessing the application for a licence under the Radiation Protection and Control Act 1982. The assessment process determines whether the application satisfies the Act and associated Regulations, and considers whether workers, the public and the environment are adequately protected from radiological hazards. The Radiation Protection Committee provides advice to the Minister regarding the application.
- Licence application (Form 9): currently available in Schedule 5 of the Ionising Radiation Regulations
- Application for a licence to carry out mining or mineral processing (section 24 - Form 10)
- Application to register premises in which unsealed radioactive substances are handled or kept
- Licence application to operate an ionising radiation apparatus
- Licence application to use or handle a radioactive substance
Licence-holders are responsible for making sure their contact and employment details are kept up to date. Renewal notices are sent out to licence-holders prior to the expiry date.
If you have any questions, please contact the Radiation Licensing Officer on (08) 8463 7826.