Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 4924–4937 | Cite as

Geochemical characterization of soil samples from gold mining areas using PIXE spectroscopy

  • Felix Samuel OliseEmail author
  • Samuel Adedigba Adeojo
  • Oyediran Kayode Owoade
  • Oyebamiji Oyedele Oketayo
  • Solomon Adeniyi Adekola
  • Akinsehinwa Akinlua
Research Article


Particle-induced x-ray emission (PIXE) spectroscopy has been used to characterize soil samples from two relatively old gold mine sites (Iperindo and Itagunmodi) in the Ilesha schist belt of Southwestern Nigeria. This is with a view to identifying the indicator or pathfinder elements of gold for fingerprinting and toxicity potential assessment purposes. Average elemental concentrations of 19 major, minor, and trace elements were determined, and the geochemical data of Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ag, As, Pb, and Au together with multivariate factor and cluster statistical analyses allowed to identify As and Ag as the pathfinder elements of gold. The high concentration of the determined pathfinder elements (As and Ag) as well as other toxic metals (Pb and Cu) implies a relatively high metal contamination risk to the miners and the ecosystem. The major hazard is represented by the abandoned mining wastes, pits, and ponds, already serving as fish ponds.


Pathfinder elements PIXE Geochemistry Fingerprinting Toxic metal 



The assistance of Dr. Segun Adeoti of the Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys (RECTAS), Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, in digitizing the geological map of the study area, is highly appreciated.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_3897_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and Engineering PhysicsObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsFederal UniversityOye-EkitiNigeria
  3. 3.Department of GeologyObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryObafemi Awolowo UniversityIle-IfeNigeria

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