AUA Code of Practice

Preamble

The Australian Uranium Association’s Code of Practice defines principles of behaviour and standards of best practice to guide improvements in performance in the Australian uranium industry.

The industry’s behaviours and practices are already very good and aim for excellence. However, there is never room for complacency and the community’s expectations about our industry continue to rise. The Code is intended to be a living document that can be renewed and revised as the industry’s performance improves, with a view to aiming for new, higher standards of best practice over time.

The Association intends that the Code exemplify its Members’ aim of always seeking to improve industry practice in every facet of operations and in regard to every obligation that they are required to meet in Australia or elsewhere.

In developing the Code, the Association has been mindful of the International Council on Mining and Metals’ (ICMM) Sustainable Development Framework and Principles which sets a context for the Code.

In addition, the Association endorses and adopts the Minerals Council of Australia’s sustainable development statement, Enduring Value, as the benchmark that applies to the larger Australian minerals industry of which the uranium industry is part. 

This Code builds on and extends the coverage of existing mining industry standards in recognition of the need to manage specific properties of uranium, particularly its mild radioactivity and its characteristics as a heavy metal.

Uranium carries some risks not present in other forms of mining, although these risks have been well known and successfully managed for many years and are shared with the mining of minerals sands, in particular.

Many extractive and other industries also are required to manage risks of radiation from Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM).

The Code is intended to encourage continuing improvement in the practice of managing radioactivity and its risks and to encourage the industry to continue its work in sharing its experience and knowledge in this area.

The Association also endorses and adopts the High Level Framework for Engagement with Indigenous Communities of the Indigenous Working Group of the Uranium Industry Framework with a view to maximising the benefits to indigenous communities from their engagement with the uranium industry.

The Code is intended to apply to

• All Members of the Australian Uranium Association. All intending Members of the Association must agree to apply the Code as a condition of membership. The Members of the Association must apply the Code wherever in the world they operate.

• All activities associated with the uranium industry including

 Exploration
 Mine and processing planning and design
 Mine and processing construction and development
 Mine and processing operations
 Management of product including storage and transport
 Mine and processing decommissioning and re-habilitation

• The management of the interaction between those activities and the human and physical environments in which they take place

• The relationships between Members of the Association and the communities, especially the indigenous communities, in which they operate


The Code of Practice

 1. Continuous improvement to best practice in management

  • Seek continuous improvement in performance
  • Support continuous improvement to quality assurance approaches
  • Identify leading practices and apply them where they will improve the performance of the business
  • Identify, characterise, assess and manage risks that can impact upon health and safety
  • Mitigate risks to safety by appropriate controls in engineering, management and other relevant measures of protection commensurate with risk
  • Monitor, review and act on assessments of safety and environmental performance
  • Train employees and, where necessary, contractors in safety and environmental issues to prevent and actively reduce risks to themselves and others.  Update this training when indicated by review and feedback
  • An Association commitment to provide information and facilitate activities to enable Members to pursue best practice measures

2. Safely manage, contain and transport all hazardous material, tailings and other wastes

  • Build radiation management, waste management and environmental management plans into the business planning cycle
  • Use best practice and technologies to minimise risk to people and the environment over the life of a project and after closure
  • Use site-specific risk analysis to account for current and long-term stability of waste and waste containment
  • Put in place systems to secure radioactive sources and substances
  • Develop and implement site-specific water management practices which meet defined water quality objectives for surface and ground waters
  • Develop and implement site-specific air and dust management practices
  • Minimise the amount of hazardous waste and contaminated material
  • Continue to improve where possible security and safety for radioactive sources and substances during their transport
  • Re-cycle and re-use wastes and materials, to keep waste disposal to a minimum

3. Provide adequately for mine closure and rehabilitation

  • Ensure sufficient funds are allocated for mine closure and site rehabilitation and integrate into project planning to effectively manage the close-out of a project
  • Apply best practice procedures on project closure programmes

4. Continuous improvement in best practice in radiation control

  • Aim to minimise occupational and public dose limit exposures by applying the principles of Justification, Optimization and Limitation in radiation control
  • Monitor radiation doses to employees and contractors and monitor radioactive discharges, emissions, environmental concentrations and exposure rates
  • Determine potential radiological impacts on the public and the environment
  • Provide stakeholders, freely and transparently, with information about radiation control performance
  • Cooperate with government initiatives to measure and monitor the impact of radiation doses

5. Regulatory obligations

  • As a minimum, adhere to the applicable international and national laws, regulations and codes that govern the industry
  • Notwithstanding this commitment, the Members will adopt continuous improved practices to increase standards of operation where possible

6. Provide information about uranium and its properties to stakeholders

  • Provide accurate and current scientific information about uranium, its properties and risks and its impact in site-specific, activity-specific or community-specific circumstances
  • Share the information with stakeholders in forms that best meet their needs
  • Explain how those properties which generate risks are to be managed in the specific circumstances
  • Provide new information as it becomes available

 *Code updated September 2009