Evaluation of the Rietveld method for the mineralogical characterization of airborne dust in a mining area

Abstract In this article, we present the results of the mineralogical quantification of airborne dust from an urban area located in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais in the vicinity of a gold mine. Three samples were collected at different points to assess spatial consistency. Results showed that the mineralogy, in relation to both major minerals and accessory minerals, is very similar for all samples, being predominantly composed of muscovite and quartz, which together account for around 60% to 75% by weight. The accessory minerals are clinochlore, albite, dolomite, calcite and kaolinite and the averages for each range from 4% to 13%. The only trace mineral with concentration below 1% was pyrite which has a concentration below 1%. The results provide an indication that the mining area is not the sole source of local dust, although the mine's contribution is significant.