Results obtained by combined geochemical and rock-magnetic studies of environment pollution are presented. The study area falls into a new special class of objects that has not been investigated earlier by magnetic methods: tailings of primary non-magnetic ores within an active geochemical environment and the absence of high-temperature processes in the technology of Pb–Zn ore recovery. Here an inverse correlation between metal (Pb, Zn, recovered from the ore) contents in the upper ground layer around the collection pond (highly polluted zone) and concentration-dependent magnetic characteristics (magnetic susceptibility, magnetic remanences) was found. This result conflicts with previous studies that focused on industrial and urban regions where enhanced magnetic properties of the environment (soils, sediments etc.) correspond to higher degrees of its pollution. In our case, the relationship between changes in magnetic properties and metal content variation is less pronounced but the overlap of geochemical and rock-magnetic anomalies over the study area is clear. The resulting maps confirm the advantage of magnetic methods as a proxy, rapid and inexpensive technique to measure pollution.