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Nakhlak Mine (Madan-e Nakhlak), Anarak District, Nain County (Nayin County), Esfahan Province (Isfahan Province; Aspadana Province), Iran

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 33° 33' 47'' North , 53° 50' 42'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 33.56306,53.84500
Köppen climate type:BWh : Hot deserts climate

The Nakhlak mine, 55 kilometers northeast of Anarak is the largest and one of the most ancient lead ore deposits ever exploited in the Anarak region. Mining history, based on dated material from the mine adits and nearby historical ruins (e.g. the Qaleh-Bozorg fortress), was traced to the earliest stages of the Sassanid Empire (224-651 AD), and possibly even the latest stages of the Parthian Empire (247 BC-224 AD) (Hallier, 1972; Stöllner and Weisgerber, 2004). The Gombad and Shaft no. 1 of the Nakhlak mine are nearby undated historical digging sites (which may reach 80 m depth), where smelters and mining tools (e.g. picks, hammers, wooden shoes, lamps, etc) are still preserved (Pernicka et al. 2011). Old reports on Iranian lead ores, including Nakhlak, can be found in the articles of Vaughan (1896) and Stahl (1897). More modern mining started in the mid-1930s, in co-operation with German and Austrian engineers and geologists like E. Fischer, E. Bohne, G. Ladame and M. Mazcek.
The lead mineralization is situated mainly in the lower part of the Late Cretaceous carbonate rocks at Nakhlak, where sandstones and conglomerates are more common. Many characteristics of the ore deposit fit well with that of the typical Iranian MVT deposits (Rasa, 1987). The ore bodies occur within dolomites and dolomitized sandy limestones as steeply dipping quartz-calcite-barite veins or vein clusters of massive galena. Their thickness varies from 0.25 to 25 meters and extends up to 500 meters in length; it can be traced down along the dip to 400 meters deep (Romanko et al. 1984). Mining reserves have been estimated at ca. 7 million tons of lead (8.33%), zinc (0.38%) and a considerable amount of silver (72 g/t) (Cherepovsky, Chinakov and Kokorin, 1981). The lead greatly predominates over the zinc and silver contents, suggesting a basinal brine origin or fluid release model for the deposit (Rasa, 1987). The northern and southern flanks, as well as the deeper levels, offer potential supplementary mining possibilities, where even new ore bodies may be found.
The primary ore seems to be monomineralic, consisting solely of galena. Cerussite in various forms is common in the oxidized zone.

Mineral List

10 valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

0 - 2.588 Ma

ID: 1377295
Quaternary sedimentary rocks

Age: Pleistocene (0 - 2.588 Ma)

Lithology: Sedimentary rocks

Reference: Geological Survey of Canada. Generalized geological map of the world and linked databases. doi:10.4095/195142. Open File 2915d. [18]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

This page contains all mineral locality references listed on This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.


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Bariand, P. 1963. Contribution à la minéralogie de l’lran. Bulletin de la Société Française de minéralogie et de cristallographie, 86: 17-64.
Bariand, P. 2003. Un apercu général sur la Minéralogie de I'Iran. Le Règne Minéral, 54: 41-51.
Bariand, P. 2008. Mémoires d’ un Minéralogiste sans Frontières. Le Règne Minéral, Paris. 144 pp.
De Ascenção Guedes, R., Lebockey, J., Bayle, L.-D., 2015. Munich 2015. Le Règne Minéral, 126: 44-47.
Cherepovsky, N., I. Chinakov, and Yu. Kokorin. 1981. Report on detailed geological prospecting in Anarak area (Chah Kharbezeh-Pateyar, Torkemani localities). V/O Technoexport, Report no. 12: 1-132. Tehran.
Rasa, I. 1987. Geologisch-petrographische Untersuchungen in der Blei-Lagerstätte Nakhlak, Zentraliran [Ph.D. thesis]: Heidelberg, Heidelberg University.
Romanko, E., Y. Kokorin, B. Krivyakin, M. Susov, L. Morozov, and M. Sharkovski. 1984. Outline of metallogeny of Anarak area (Central Iran). V/O Technoexport, Report no. 21: 1-136. Tehran.
Hallier, U.W. 1972. Fort, Atashgah and Chahar Taq von Nakhlak. Oberrest einer sassanidischen Bergbausiedlung. Archaologische Mitteilungen aus Iran, Neue Folge 5: 285-307.
Pernicka, E., Adam, K., Bohme, M., Hezarkhani, Z., Nezafati, N., Schreiner, M., Winterholler, B., Momenzadeh, M. and Vatandoust, A. 2011. Archaeometallurgical research on the western Central Iranian Plateau. In: Vatandoust, A., Parzinger, H. and Helwing, B. (eds). Early Mining and Metallurgy on the Western Central Iranian Plateau: The First Five Years of Work (Archaologie in Iran Und Turan), 633-687.
Vaughan, H.B. 1896. Journeys in Persia (1890-91). Geographical Journal 7: 24-41, 163-175.
Stahl, A.F. 1897. Zur Geologie von Persian, Geognostische Beschreibung von Nord-und Zentral Persian.

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