Contamination assessment and source identification of metals and metalloids in soils around the Sari Gunay gold mine, Kurdistan Province, W Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Geology, Bu-Ali Sina University, Mahdieh St., Hamedan, Iran


In this investigation, the level of metals and metalloids (As, Sb, Co, Cr, Hg, Pb, Zn, Ni, V, and Ti) was determined in soil samples collected from the Sari Gunay gold mine surrounding area, west of Iran. A total of 38 soil samples were taken from the area close to mine, agricultural lands, and villages. Average concentrations of heavy metals in the soil samples were as follow: Co: 13.97 mg/kg; Cr: 95.79 mg/kg; Hg: 9.03 mg/kg; Ni: 55.05 mg/kg; Pb: 163.13 mg/kg; Ti: 0.42%; V: 103.29 mg/kg; Zn: 145.42 mg/kg. The mean concentration of metalloids was 106.53 mg/kg for As and 65.68 mg/kg for Sb. The results of EF and CF indicate that soil samples were very highly polluted by As, Hg and Sb, highly polluted by Pb, moderately polluted by Zn and V, and almost unpolluted by Ti, Ni, Co, and Cr. The Cd and PLI revealed that most soil samples in the gold mine surrounding area are extremely polluted. Based on the statistical analyses, including correlation coefficient analysis, principal component analysis (PCA), and cluster analysis (CA), the main source of the elements is the orebody itself and mining activities have increased the pollution degree. Arsenic, Hg, Sb, Pb, and Zn are related to gold mineralization veins and sulfidic minerals (e.g. stibnite, realgar, orpiment, cinnabar, galena, and sphalerite), while the other metals are originated from the oxide/hydroxide of iron in the supergene alteration zone and silicate minerals existing in host rocks.


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Article Title [Persian]