Tellus’ Sandy Ridge Facility Approved for Surface Storage of Low Level Radioactive Waste

  • On : April 21, 2021
  • Latest permit broadens Sandy Ridge’s capacity to receive and store most intractable waste types, including Low Level Radioactive waste (LLW)
  • Sandy Ridge enables Australian waste producers to avoid exporting hazardous waste offshore, so that it can be treated and stored in Australia, helping meet the country’s international obligations
  • Sandy Ridge Facility represents a critical long-term infrastructure asset that will help solve hazardous waste challenges for large scale infrastructure, construction and mining projects around the country

Following on from its previous announcement that its Sandy Ridge’s Facility has received approval to store NORM (Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials) up to Low Level Radioactive Waste (LLW) on the surface at Sandy Ridge, Tellus Holdings Ltd (‘Tellus’) is pleased to announce its LLW Site Registration now permits Tellus to also store Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources (DSRS) on the surface.

Tellus expects to receive approval to dispose NORM and DSRS and surface contaminated objects as defined by the LLW Site Registration issued by the Western Australia (WA) Radiological Council in-cell at its Sandy Ridge Facility in Q4 of this year.

This LLW approval follows the recent approval from the WA Government for Sandy Ridge to fully operate a dual-purpose commercial kaolin mine and Class IV and Class V hazardous waste facility, the first of its kind in Australia.

Tellus CEO Nate Smith said: “This is another important step for Tellus in our mission to clean up hazardous waste across Australia. This approval broadens Sandy Ridge’s capacity to receive and store a wide range of intractable wastes, meaning that waste that was previously exported can now be treated and disposed of in Australia as part of our best practice circular economy obligations. This will deliver a significantly lower carbon footprint than offshore forms of disposal.”

LLW waste includes DSRS found in gauges in heavy industry and mining; NORM waste produced in industrial, manufacturing or mining processes; and surface contaminated objects that contain NORM that meet Tellus’ LLW waste acceptance criteria.

Sandy Ridge is licensed to receive nearly all types of hazardous waste types, including waste from a broad spectrum of industrial sectors, including mining, oil and gas, contaminated site remediation and utilities. This includes NORM from the processing, manufacturing and decommissioning of minerals and storage batteries used in motor vehicle electric storage batteries and energy storage batteries.

Sandy Ridge does not accept international waste, nuclear waste, or waste streams falling under intermediate (ILW) or high-level (HLW) radioactive waste designations.

Nate Smith continued: “The privately owned Sandy Ridge Facility is the first of its kind in the country and represents critical infrastructure for Australia. Not only will it solve legacy, existing production and emerging waste stream problems in WA and across Australia, but it also will help catalyse COVID-19 economic recovery. We expect to enable the launch of multitude of new infrastructure, industrial and mining projects that naturally produce hazardous waste as a by-product.”

Critically, for large producers of hazardous waste, such as major infrastructure and building projects and the oil and gas sector, Tellus is the only company in Australia that can issue a Permanent Isolation Certificate (Tellus PIC™), certifying critical facts that provides a basis for derecognising a liability provision on financial statements under accounting standard AASB 137. The risk and title transfer to Tellus on the issue of a Waste Acceptance Notice.

Tellus’ Sandy Ridge Facility is an example of a leading infrastructure development that meets and supports the WA Government’s waste legislation, regulations, policies, business plans and strategies with the objective of protecting the environment by managing waste responsibly. Sandy Ridge will contribute towards meeting the “recover” and “protect” targets within the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recover Strategy 2030 and associated Action Plan 2020-21, and will help address the 2030 target which states, “all waste is managed and/or disposed to better practice facilities”.


Media contact:
Justin Kirkwood
+61 411 251 324

About Tellus Holdings Ltd:

Tellus is an innovative Australian environmental services group in the business of partnering with our clients to find a permanent disposal solution for hazardous waste and removing it safely and responsibly from our society and environment to a world class, remote near-surface geological repository. We also have the opportunity to reinvest in our communities through the circular economy and recycling technologies. Our first geological repository called Sandy Ridge, based northwest of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, is now fully open for business. It is licensed to accept a broad range of hazardous waste up to 100,000 tonnes per annum for the next 25 years. Unlike a traditional waste landfill that relies on a liner, Sandy Ridge relies on a multi-barrier, natural safety case, underpinned by unique geology. Our safety case is so strong that we can permanently dispose of Class IV and Class V waste for our clients, and in turn, they have the opportunity to remove contingent liability for clean-up off their balance sheet and optimise the value of their sites, once de-contaminated. Other sites around Australia are also being considered for development by Tellus, including New South Wales in the Broken Hill region, and the Northern Territory.

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