Newsletter 1 Article
Thorium availability in nature
Thorium is found in small amounts in most rocks and soil, whereby soil contains an average of around 6 parts per million of Thorium. As Thorium is insoluble and relatively heavy, it is plentiful in sand and hence easily found on beaches.
Most commonly, monazite, a rare earth phosphate found in igneous and other rocks, can contain on average of 7% and up to about 12% of Thorium phosphate. There are substantial deposits in several countries including India, Brazil, Norway, Australia, USA, Russia, South Africa and China.
Due to the insignificant demand for Thorium, only estimates on the supply are available. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the estimated Reasonably Assured Reserves (RAR) of Thorium in each country are in the chart shown below.
Source: OECD NEA & IAEA, Uranium 2014: Resources, Production and Demand ('Red Book')