South Australia has extensive deposits of mineral sands. These sands contain minerals with high specific gravity known as ‘heavy minerals’ and include the economically important minerals rutile, ilmenite, leucoxene (each of which contain significant amounts of TiO2) and zircon which is a major source of zirconium.
Mineral sands are also associated with uranium and thorium bearing minerals (eg monazite and xenotime), which can lead to radiation exposure during mining, processing and transport. These operations are therefore subject to the requirements of the Radiation Protection and Control Act 1982 (RPC Act).
The following mineral sand operations are registered under the RPC Act:
- Australian Zircon Pty Ltd operates a mine at Mindarie in the Murray Basin.
- Iluka Resources Pty Ltd operates a mine at its Jacinth-Ambrosia deposits on the Eyre Peninsula.