Determination of radon gas and respirable ore dust concentrations in the underground merelani Tanzanite mines

Evarist M Kahuluda, Ismael N Makundi


This study has estimated the concentrations of radon gas and respirable ore dust in the Merelani underground tanzanite mines. Two different portable monitors were used to measure the radon gas and respirable ore dust concentrations respectively. The mean radon gas concentration (disintegrations per second per cubic meter) ranges from 40.1 Bq/m3 to 4.2x103 Bq/m3 with the geometric mean of 118.4 Bq/m3 which is below the ICRP workplace guidance level of 500 - 1500 Bq/m3. The estimated mean annual effective dose (D) was 1.6 mSv which is significantly lower than the external exposure annual effective dose of 20 mSv and the annual organ dose limit of 2.4 mSv. The overall concentrations of respirable ore dust arithmetic mean was 18.2 g/m3 and the geometric mean of 2.1 g/m3 which is very high compared to the guidance level of 2 g/m3. The respirable dust was mainly produced during drilling and blasting of rocks, under normal conditions the geometric mean of respirable gas concentrations was 0.8 g/m3. It is recommended that immediate intervention such as providing proper ventilation during the two processes to dilute radon levels in underground mines and the monitoring should be done regularly.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.