Investigation of morphological and mineralogy characteristics of dust around the lead and zinc mine in Mehdiabad, Yazd, Iran, Using the SEM and XRD analyzes

  • Saeed Shojaee Barjoee
  • Hadi Farokhi
  • Saeed Zarei Mahmoud Abadi
  • Saeede Sedghi
Keywords: Morphological and Mineralogy characteristics; X-Ray Diffraction (XRD); Scanning Electron Micros- copy (SEM); Quartz and calcite; Mehdiabad lead and zinc mine


Introduction: Dust created by mining activities is one of the most important concerns regarding human health and the environment protection. The aim of this study was to identify the mineralogical and morphological characteristics of dust particles found around the lead and zinc mine of Mehdiabad.

Materials and methods: First of all, dust samples were collected around  the mine by installing eight passive marble dust collectors using a combined systematic random method during February, March and April in 2020. Then, using two methods of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron mi- croscopy (SEM) mineralogy, shape and distribution of the particles of dust samples were investigated.

Results: The highest frequency of particles with sizes less than 10, 10-60, and 60-100 µm were determined and observed in S1 station in the northwest, and S5 and S2 stations in the southwest of the mine, respectively. The re- sults of SEM analysis revealed that the appearance of dust particles is mostly Spherical, Irregular, Elongated, Prismatic, and Rhombic. The results of XRD analysis showed that the minerals anorthite (Ca (Al2Si2O8)), dolomite (Ca Mg (CO3)2), albite (NaAlSi3O8), calcite (CaCO3), quartz (SiO2) and muscovite(KAl2 (Si3AlO10)) (OH2) have the highest frequency in dust samples.

Conclusion: The findings show that the predominant mineralogical compo- sition of dust particles includes carbonates (dominant mineral: calcite) and silicates (dominant mineral: quartz) which are found in all stations. Thus, dust particles, with high frequency of quartz, have a high potential to result in respiratory diseases in the inhabitants living around the mine.