THORIUM LEVEL IN LYNAS’s RARE EARTH ORE
I refer to the statemnt by Lynas in the Malaysian Insider. 18 apr 2011 where Lynas Corp refuted the Australian Parliamentary research paper, insisting that their rare earth ore is low in thorium level.
I would like to share with the Concerned Citizens of Kuantan as well as the citizens of Malaysia a statement by Dr Gavin Mudd – a senior lecturer for Environmental Engineering at Monash University, Melbourne on this issue.
Dr Mudd who did extensive research on Mt Weld rare earth ore said : “claims that rare earth ore imported from Australia had a low thorium content were a way to downplay the significance of such issues”.
Lynas claimed that the thorium contained in its ore is 50 times lower than what was in the tin tailings used in the now closed Asian Rare Earth (ARE) plant in Bukit Merah, Ipoh.
“The main question is the natural concentration in the area used for ore processing and waste disposal. (The average thorium content in the Mt Weld ore) is almost certainly higher than background or natural soil concentrations,” said Dr Mudd.
He was also sceptical of the low figures quoted by Lynas on the annual radiation exposure of its workers and said he had expected the figures to be much higher.
Dr Mudd reiterated the main point of concern posed by local experts that all radiation exposure was cumulative and added up over a lifetime.