The as-cast microstructures of two dilute Mg-Zr and three dilute Mg-Mn alloys were studied using optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, including EDX analysis. The results show that the as-cast microstructure of the Mg-Zr alloys was composed of non-dendritic, equiaxed Mg grains, with a few Zr particles within the Mg grains and along grain boundaries. The grain size of the Mg-Zr alloy was significantly reduced by the Zr addition and a fine grain structure was achieved when the zirconium concentration was above 0.4wt. %. The as-cast structure of the Mg- Mn alloys contained columnar, dendritic grains. Two types of Mn particles (equiaxed large particles and rod-like or plate-like small particles) were observed in the as-cast Mg-Mn alloys. The volume fraction of particles and the size differences between the large and small particles increased with an increase of Mn concentration.