Article

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 180, Issue 1, pp 15-29

Assessment of public exposure to naturally occurring radioactive materials from mining and mineral processing activities of Tarkwa Goldmine in Ghana

  • Augustine FaanuAffiliated withRadiation Protection Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission Email author 
  • , James H. EphraimAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
  • , Emmanuel O. DarkoAffiliated withRadiation Protection Institute, Ghana Atomic Energy Commission

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Abstract

Studies have been carried out in a Goldmine in Ghana to determine the exposure of the public to naturally occurring radioactive materials from processing of gold ore. Direct gamma spectrometry and neutron activation analysis techniques were used to analyse soil, rock, water and dust samples from the mining environment. The mean activity concentrations measured for 238U, 232Th and 40K in the soil/rock samples were 15.2, 26.9 and 157.1 Bq kg − 1, respectively. For the water samples, the mean activity concentrations were 0.54 and 0.41 Bq l − 1) and 7.76 Bq l − 1 for 226Ra, 232Th and 40K, respectively. The mean activity concentrations measured in the dust samples were 4.90 and 2.75 μBq m − 3 for 238U and 232Th, respectively. The total annual effective dose to the public was estimated to be 0.69 mSv. The results in this study compared well with typical world average values. The results indicate an insignificant exposure of the public from the activities of the Goldmine.

Keywords

Goldmine Natural radioactivity Mineral processing Banket series Gamma spectroscopy Neutron activation