Rio Tinto releases independent community radiation study of its QMM mineral sands site

21 September 2023

QMM JBS&G Mandena Community Radiation Study
QMM JBS&G Mandena Radiation Study - Summary
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QMM JBS&G Mandena Radiation Study
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FORT DAUPHIN, Madagascar -- International environmental experts, JBS&G Australia Pty Ltd (JBS&G), have completed a comprehensive independent community study of radiation at the Rio Tinto QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM) mine in Fort Dauphin, Southern Madagascar, which concluded that there is no need for heightened health concerns around local radiation levels.

The analysis received on the five cycles covering various seasons from November 2019 to October 2022 showed that local food sources, water, air and dust are safe from a radiological perspective. 

Mineral elements deposited broadly across the region contain natural radiation. Companies such as QMM that remove mineral elements containing natural radiation must monitor to ensure their activities do not increase radiation levels above an established global reference level.

QMM’s contribution to radiation dose within the community has been assessed and found to be far smaller than the variation in natural background radiation levels and below national and international regulatory limits for radiation. 

The study is one of the most comprehensive of its type ever undertaken and was commissioned as one of a number of steps QMM is taking to reinforce international best practices and standards in monitoring its environmental impacts, and the impacts on host communities. 

The study was initiated in an attempt to quantify the surrounding community member radiation doses from naturally occurring radioactive materials and any contributions from mining activity. It involved collecting samples containing radionuclides within surface water, groundwater, soil, sediment, land foods, aquatic foods, air and dust. In all, more than 260 samples (including 377 individual fish) were collected under strict quality control conditions and analysed using a variety of highly specialised analytical techniques that were adapted to ensure reliable and precise data.

The report has been shared with the Office National de l’Environnement and Autorité Nationale De l’Eau et de l’Assainissement, which oversees ongoing radiation monitoring at QMM, and is available here.

QMM remains committed to managing radiation and water quality at its operations, and to transparently working with the regulator and our host communities to ensure effective monitoring occurs at appropriate intervals aligned with international guidelines and local requirements. 


About QMM

QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM), is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (80%) and the government of Madagascar (20%) located near Fort Dauphin in the Anosy region of south-eastern Madagascar. QMM is a world-class ilmenite mining project, which continues to contribute to Madagascar through the employment of 2,000 people (98% Malagasy). Since 2005, QMM has invested over US$1 billion in Madagascar, with US$400 million invested in building shared infrastructure through public-private partnerships.

QMM includes the deep-water Port d’Ehoala, where the raw material is shipped to the Rio Tinto Fer et Titane plant in Canada and processed into titanium dioxide.


Please direct all enquiries to

Media Relations, QMM
Antsa Ratsimbazafy

M +261 34 490 4949

Media Relations, Rio Tinto  
David Outhwaite

M +44 7787 597493


Category: QMM