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natural zircon contains uranium and thorium in varying quantities and from an environmental aspect this is problematic the industry accepted standard is Th 500 ppm high brightness is a marketing advantage removal of uranium and thorium achieves the production of a premium product sell a zircon sand to the ceramic market. get priceuranium and thorium decay chains in the material may or may not be in the state of secular equilibrium. this applies to materials such as zircon or ilmenite sand, or tantalum concentrates where only physical processing was carried out. the complete data on the disruption of nov 02, 2016 the uranium and thorium atoms and their decay products are bound within the zircon crystal structure, substituting for a small number of zirconium atoms. In most other uranium-containing minerals, including uranium ores, the uranium atoms are not bound within the crystalline matrix but form part of the cementing material between the grains.