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Radiological characterization of the phosphate deposit in Al-Jalamid phosphate mining area, Saudi Arabia

Authors
  • Alhawsawi, Abdulsalam M.1
  • Shababa, E. I.2
  • Qutub, Maher M. T.1
  • Banoqitah, Essam M.2
  • Kinsara, A. A.2
  • 1 King Abdulaziz University, 21589, 21589 , (Saudi Arabia)
  • 2 King Abdulaziz University, 21589 , (Saudi Arabia)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Nukleonika
Publisher
De Gruyter Open Sp. z o.o.
Publication Date
Mar 06, 2021
Volume
66
Issue
1
Pages
35–44
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2478/nuka-2021-0005
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Original Paper
License
Green

Abstract

It is a known fact that phosphate rocks have high levels of natural radioactivity due to the presence of large concentrations of radionuclides. This work aims to estimate radiation exposure and dose levels at Al-Jalamid site in northern Saudi Arabia. Al-Jalamid area is one of the largest reserves of phosphate worldwide. Ma’aden, a Saudi Government public company, owns the mine and is responsible for all mining activities. Phosphate and soil samples collected from Al-Jalamid phosphate mining area have been analysed for their uranium and thorium content by an α-spectrometer using radiochemical techniques. The quantity of radon gas was measured both in groundwater and in the atmosphere (indoor and outdoor) at the site using a portable radiation survey instrument. Groundwater samples collected from wells surrounding the mining area were analysed using a liquid scintillation counter in addition to an α-spectrometer. Finally, it is found that phosphate rock concentrate products cannot be utilized economically based on the standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), since the average activity concentration does not reach the limit set by IAEA and hence are not commercially feasible.

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