Mufeed Batarseh ; Tayel El-Hasanb


The phosphate deposits are used mainly as raw materials in the fertilizer industry. However, toxic elements content in both phosphate ores and final mining products has received little attention. The present study used inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to determine levels of toxic elements in phosphate deposits in Al-Hisa and Al-Abyad mines, Jordan. Concentrations of elements were converted into rock content based on the ICP-MS results and compared using an enrichment-factor (EF) method that normalized to the mean concentration of elements in crustal rock.
The results showed that the U, V, and Hg were enriched in the Jordanian deposits compared to the average worldwide phosphate (AWP), whereas lower enrichments of Pb were found in the Jordanian deposits (JP). Other trace elements had similar levels in Jordanian deposits comparable to worldwide averages of phosphates. Concentrations of U, V, and Cd in Jordanian phosphate deposits were greater than the permissible limits
for soils for growing crops established by the European Community (EC) and World Health Organization (WHO). Finally, Jordanian phosphate deposits show the highest enrichment of Hg and U, thus can be regarded as U-bearing.