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Rio Tinto has released the findings from an independent community study of radiation at its QIT Madagascar minerals mine in Fort Dauphin, southern Madagascar.

The study found that there is no need for heightened health concerns around local radiation levels.

Conducted from November 2019 to October 2022, the study 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,” Rio Tinto said in a statement.

“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.”

The study was completed by international environmental experts JBS&G Australia and is one of the most comprehensive undertaken. QMM commissioned the study to reinforce international best practices and standards in monitoring environmental impacts.

While conducting the study, JBS&G collected samples containing radionuclides within surface water, groundwater, soil, sediment, land foods, aquatic foods, air and dust. More than 260 samples were collected for analysis.

“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,” Rio Tinto said