Rare Earth Elements

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Rare Earth Elements
Rare earth elements (REE) are relatively abundant in the earth’s crust, but discovered economic concentrations are less common than for
most other ores. Rare earths can be divided into light rare earth elements (LREE) which include La, Ce, Pr, Nd and Sm, and heavy rare earth
elements (HREE) which include Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu plus Y.
World resources of LREE are constrained primarily in carbonatites, LREE-bastnäsite and monazite. Bastnäsite deposits in China and the
United States constitute the largest fraction of the world’s rare-earth economic resources. Monazite deposits in Australia, Brazil, China,
India, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand and the United States constitute the second largest segment. The latter are found
in paleoplacer and recent placer deposits, sedimentary deposits, veins, pegmatites, carbonaties, and alkaline complexes. Alkali igneous
intrusions in the Lovozero and Khibina Massifs in Russia are also highly enriched in REE, Nb and Ta.
A large portion of HREE is found in xenotime and monazite which occur in a wide variety of geologic environments. These include alkaline
granites, hydrothermal deposits, laterites, placers, and vein-type deposits. A significant portion of HREE is associated with weathered
clay deposits, yttrium-bearing minerals in apatite-magnetite-bearing rocks, deposits of niobium-tantalum minerals, non-placer monazitebearing deposits, sedimentary phosphate deposits, eudialyte-bearing deposits and some uranium ores. Undiscovered REE resources are
thought to be very large relative to the expected demand1. Rare earth elements are ranked as the highest mineral raw materials of critical
concern, given uncertain future supplies and their importance to advanced industrial economies2,3.
The demand for rare earth elements has increased substantially owing to their unique physical, chemical and light-emitting properties. They
are exploited in a range of new technologies along with elements such as Y, Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf and Sc with which they are intimately associated
in many deposits. Nd, Dy, Eu, Tb and Y are now considered “critical” rare earths in terms of their importance to the clean energy
economy and the risk of supply disruption.
Demand for the rare-earth materials has grown more rapidly than that for commodity metals such as steel and in the new developing
market segments Dy, Nd and Pr account for 85% of rare earths used4.
Rare Earths Application in Clean Energy
Rare earths are becoming vital to some fast growing businesses in clean energy.
New generation wind-powered turbines use NdFeB/DyTb permanent magnets.
This critical component gives greater magnetic field strength and higher coercivity
(resistance to becoming demagnetized) than other magnets. The use of rare
earths in permanent magnets considerably reduces the size and the mass of the
generator. Similar magnets are also used in motors for hybrid vehicles, hard disk
drivers and many other electronic applications. Electric car motors require up to
200g of Nd and 30g of Dy. Wind turbine generators can contain one tonne of
Nd per megawatt installed capacity4.Nd demand is currently third after Ce and La
with an increasing forecast deficit for this element along with Tb and Dy (Fig. 1).
Wind turbines
Nd magnet cube
Organic blue emitting diode
Solar panels
Rare earth permanent magnets are the largest consumer of REE accounting for
39% of the production (Fig. 2) .The next largest REE consumers are catalysts
(19%) and metal alloys (18%). About 12% of LREE is used for polishing, TV and
computer monitors, mirrors and microchips. A total of 10% of the LREE are used
in the glass industry. Lanthanum, for example, increases the refractive index of glass and is used in camera lenses.
The phosphorescent properties of rare earths, including Y, are heavily exploited in the production of energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps
(CFL) and light emitting diodes (LED). The new generation of organic light emitting diodes (OLED) uses rare earths (Eu, Tb, Tm) to produce
transparent or surface emitting flat panel displays. The colour of the emitted light can be tuned by changing rare earth ion concentration5,6.
Rare earths are also added to ceramic glazes for colour control7. Barium titanate powder alloyed with REE is used in electronic applications.
Yttrium is used to make ferrites for high frequencies and to stabilize zirconia in oxygen sensors8.In 2008 7000 t of REOs was used in this
category, of which yttrium oxide accounted for 53 % and the remainder being oxides of La, Ce, Nd and Pr.
Rare earths are widely used in medical technology. For example, Gd-based compounds are used as a contrast agent to image tumours
with MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and the MRI uses REE magnets9. Erbium yttrium aluminum garnet (Er:YAG) lasers are used in
dermatology for skin resurfacing to remove wrinkles.
The unique magnetic properties of Gd may be used in future refrigeration technology. These refrigerators do not require ozone-depleting or
hazardous substances and reduce electricity consumption by up to 15 per cent due to higher energy efficiency10. A thulium-doped lutetium
yttrium aluminum garnet (Tm:LuYAG) laser is used in meteorology to measure wind speed and direction, pollution and moisture.
Promethium occurs naturally in minuscule amounts11, however, it can be produced by bombarding neodymium-146 with neutrons. Promethium
can be used in nuclear powered batteries which use beta particles, emitted by the decay of promethium, to induce a phosphor to emit light. This
light is then converted into electricity by a device similar to a solar cell. This type of battery could provide power for up to five years12.
Japan and the USA are two of the major countries which import REE for their high-tech industries. Together they imported 34000 tonnes of
REE compounds and metals in 2009. These two countries were followed by Germany (8200 tonnes), France (7000 tonnes) and Austria (4500
tonnes) in 2009. China accounted for 97% of the REE supply in 2010. In recent years China has constrained the export of un-beneficiated
REE preferring to export finished products9. China also plans to reduce illegal mining of REE and introduce stricter environmental regulations
concerning REE production. This has boosted the price for REE which has, in turn, made mines outside China more economically viable.
Africa, Australia, Canada13 and Greenland have the biggest potential for filling the REE deficit. As one of the biggest importer of rare earths
Japan had already started to negotiate supplies of rare earths from India and Vietnam14. Projects like Steenkampskraal (GWMG, South
Africa)15, Zandkopsdrift (Frontier Rare Earth, Southern Africa), Mt Pass (Molycorp Inc., USA), Bear Lodge (Rare Elements Resources, USA),
Mt Weld (Lynas Corp, Australia), Kvanefjeld (Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd, Greenland), Dong Pao (Vimico Rare Earth Co, Vientnam)
and other projects will assist to meet the future demand for predominantly light rare earths. Strange Lake (Quest Rare Minerals, Canada)16,
Nechalocho (Avalon Rare Metals, Canada)17, Kvanefjeld (Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd, Greenland), Tanbreez (Tanbreez Mining
Greenland, Greenland)18, Nolans (Arafura Resources, Australia)19, Browns Range (Northern Minerals20) and Dubbo (Alkane Resources,
Australia) are promising heavy rare earth projects. The deficits for HREE will however, remain significant.
Global Demand and Supply of REO for 2014 (+14%)
Ho-Tm-Yb-Lu
Y
Er
Dy
Tb
Gd
Eu
Sm
Nd
Pr
Ce
La
10,000
0
20,000
30,000
Supply REO tonne
6%
7%
7%
6%
7%
19%
19%
40,000
50,000
21%
21%
12%
18%
80,000
Fig. 1.Global demand and supply of REO for
2014 (± 14%)(IMCOA).
Catalysts
Ce, La, Nd, Pr. Demand driver are tighter NOx and SO2 standards. Used as fluid
cracking catalysts for heavy oils and tar sands.
Glass
Ce, La, Nd. Cerium cuts down transmission of UV light;
La increase glass refractive index for digital camera lens.
Polishing
Ce, La, Nd. Mechano-chemical polishing powders for TVs, Computer monitors,
mirrors and (in nano-particulate form) silicon chips.
Metal Alloys
La, Ce, Pr, Nd. Hybrid vehicle batteries. Hydrogen absorption alloys for rechargeable
batteries.
Magnets
Nd, Pr, Sm, Tb, Dy. Drivers for computers, mobile phones, mp3 etc. Hybrid vehicle
electric motors. Wind turbines.
Phosphors
Eu, Y, Tb, La, Ce. LCDs, PDPs, LEDs. Energy efficient fluoroscent light/lamps.
Ceramics
Eu, Y, Tb, La, Ce. LCDs, PDPs, LEDs. Energy efficient flourescent light/lamps.
Other
Er, Y, Tb, Eu – Fiber Optics. Pm – miniature nuclea batteries.
Lu – single crystal scintillator. Tm – Medical Image Visualisation.
12%
18%
70,000
Demand REO tonne
7%
10%
10%
60,000
Fig. 2.Pie chart of global rare earth demand in 2008 by application (adapted from USSG Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5094).
Rare Earths Analysis
For many years chondrite normalised plots of the REE have been used in petrogenesis (Fig.3). A europium anomaly is generally an indication
that a rock or the parent from which it was derived has fractionated plagioclase or a mineral into which Eu has partitioned. During magma
crystallization in a reducing environment divalent Eu2+ preferentially incorporates into plagioclase substituting for Ca2+. A plagioclase cumulate will
have a positive Eu anomaly whereas the residual magma, from which it fractionated, a negative anomaly. Large positive Eu anomalies occur in
the most felsic rocks which also have a high Ba content and are severely depleted in HREE. A negative Eu anomaly is a signature of post-Archean
sediments21. In addition to europium, one can observe cerium in two different states: soluble Ce3+ can be oxidised by atmospheric oxygen to less
soluble Ce4+. The presence of a Ce anomaly can be used to determine redox conditions in marine sediments like carbonates and phosphates22.
10
3
Rocks
Lamprophyre
10
2
b
10
2
10
1
Pb-Zn
Ore
REE/
Chondrite
a
Granite
Andesite
10
1
La
Basalt (Morb)
Eu
Lu
Peridotite
Chondrite
10 -1
La Ce Pr Nd
Light REE (LREE)
Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu
Heavy REE (HREE)
REE/
Chondrite
10
Fig 3. a) REE Chondrite plots of various rocks; b) chondrite
plot of Pb-Zn ore with positive Eu anomaly, which is
associated with Pb-Zn sulphides, New Brunswick, Canada
(Graf23 et al, 1977); c) chondrite of Cu-Zn of footwall with
negative Eu anomaly with enriched heavy REE (“birdwing
profile”) in rocks below the ore (Schade et al, 1989).24
c
0
10
2
10
1
10
0
Cu-Zn
Footwall
La
Eu
Lu
Lanthanum/gadolinium (La/Gd), as a measure of LREEs/HREEs, plotted against Eu/Eu* (measured europium divided by europium calculated from
interpolation between samarium and gadolinium) is also helpful in the classification of REE deposits and the interpretation of their origin (Fig. 4).
1,000
Fig.4.
1A - Mountain Pass Bastnäsite;
1B - Mountain Pass monazite;
2 - Kangankunde REE-rich carbonatite;
3 - Kizilçäoren REE-rich carbonatite; 4A, 4B - Salitre II perovaskite and anatase,
5 - Mount Weld carbonatite;
6 - Maicuru REE-rich carbonatite;
7 - Bayan Obo ore;
8 - Pea Ridge breccia;
9 - Mineville apatite;
10,11 - Western and Eastern Australiaplacer monazite;
12 - South China placer monazite; 13 - Florida placer monazite;
14 - Brazil placer monazite;
15 - Malaysia placer xenotime;
16 - Strange Lake peralkalineigneous HREE deposits;
17 - Kipawa Lake eudialyte;
18 - Bokan Mountain peralkalineigneous HREE deposits;
19,20 - JabalSa’id and JabalTawlahperalkaline igneous REE deposits;
21 - Crescent Peak vein deposit.
Carbonatites
Placer
Monazite
100
1A
Iron-REE
Deposits
14
3
2
1B
7
6
10
La/Gd
10
21
12
8
17
16
13
1
4B
4A
9
11
5
18
19
Peralkaline
REE Deposits
0.1
15
20
0.01
0.01
0.1
1
Eu/Eu*
Techniques for Rare Earths Exploration
Most of REE deposits are restricted to areas underlain by Precambrian rocks, which have recognizable features and can be identified by aerial
photography. However, this approach may not be suitable for complexes, which occur in clusters (Mt Weld, Australia) or linear belts (AraxáCatalão, Brazil). Owing to the presence of U and Th in REE deposits, surface or airborne radiometric surveying can be used quite successfully.
Placer deposits however, produce weak radiometric signatures so due care must be exercised. Geophysical methods can be used for buried
mineralisation, but the effectiveness depends on the anomalous density as well as the magnetic susceptibility of the deposit and the associated
rocks. Geochemical surveys using stream sediments, water and soil are used widely to identify REE host rocks. Biogeochemistry can be useful
in identifying REE deposits below cover. Trenching and pitting by heavy equipment may also be useful for poorly exposed deposits.
Using several methods of exploration increases confidence in the results and helps data interpretation. A HREE deposit in Strange Lake in
Canada was found using regional lake water, a sediment survey and tracing of glacially transported boulders, which were found up to 20
km from the source22.
Mt Weld REE Deposit,
Western Australia.
Photo courtesy of Lynas Corp Ltd
Kanyika Multielement deposit,
Malawi. Photo courtesy of Globe
Metals and Mining Ltd.
Kvanefjeld REE and Multielement deposit, Southern Greenland.
Photo courtesy of Greenland Minerals
Methods of Analysis
Whether you are using REE as indicators or exploring for REE deposits using soil, rock chips or drill core you need to choose an appropriate
analytical method. The HREE, Y, Zr, Hf, Nb and Ta are commonly hosted by refractory minerals that may not be completely digested by an acid
digestion. Fusion using Na peroxide or Li borate fluxes may be required to completely digest the sample in cases where a multi-acid attack may
only liberate the LREE(Fig. 5).
4 Acid/MS OREAS 100a
Fusion/MS OREAS 100a
4 Acid/MS OREAS 101a
Fusion/MS OREAS 101a
4 Acid/MS OREAS 102a
3000
FusionMS OREAS 102a
4 Acid/MS OREAS 146
Fusion/MS OREAS 146
300
Fig.5. Recovery of REE from Uranium and REE ores
with four acid and sodium peroxide fusion.
30
La
Ce
Pr
Nd
Pm
Sm
Eu
Gd
Tb
Dy
Ho
Er
Tm
Yb
Lu
Techniques for Rare Earths Exploration
The refractory nature of many of the minerals which host rare earth elements (REE) make fusion followed by a combination of ICP-OES and ICPMS an ideal technique for the accurate characterisation of REE ores along with important major, minor and trace components. Fusions, using
either sodium peroxide or lithium borate flux, ensure the complete digestion of all minerals giving total elemental analyses. All data are checked
for consistency using chondrite normalised plots.
An extended REE package including the major elements is available on request, as well as a wider selection of elements including Cs, Rb, Ba, Sr,
V and Sc. Low level lithogeochemistry options are also available, including the combined digest, where a four acid digest is followed by fusion for
total heavy rare earths recovery and low detection limits.
If you are exploring in areas of cover, regolith sampling with partial selective digests or vegetation sampling may work in the area of interest.
Anyone is most welcome to contact the laboratory for further information.
Rare earths mineralisation,
Bokan Mountain.
© Clint Cox, The Anchor House, Inc. 2009
Bastnäsite ore, Mt Pass
© Clint Cox, The Anchor House,
Inc. 2009
Red Eudialyte with black Aenigmatite,
white feldspar and Aegirine
© Maurice de Graff, Takhtarvumchorr,
Khibiny massif, Russia, 2009.
Rare Earths Mineralisation Na Peroxide Fusion ICP-MS Package
Sodium peroxide is a highly effective, oxidising flux which melts at 495°C. It can be used to decompose a diverse array of rocks and ores to
determine many elements commonly hosted in refractory minerals, oxides, sulphides, silicates and carbonates. These include galena, sphalerite,
pyrite, molybdenite, arsenite, cassiterite, baddeleyite, ilmenite, wolframite, beryl, tourmaline, bismuth ores, manganese and iron ores, chromium
ores, niobium and tantalum ores, monazite, euxenite, xenotime, loparite, samarskite, bastnäsite. Rare earths minerals from peralkaline granitic
rocks are usually hosted in relatively refractory minerals like eudialyte, fergusonite, allanite, gittinsite and can be fully recovered with fusion.
Element
La
Ce
Pr
Nd
Sm
Eu
Gd
Tb
Dy
Range ppm
0.2-
0.5-
0.05-
0.1-
0.1
-
0.1-
0.1-
0.05-
0.1-
Element
20%Ho
30%Er
10%Tm
20%Yb
10%Lu
5%Y
5%Th
2%U
5%Nb
Range ppm
0.1-
0.1-
0.05-
0.1-
0.05-
0.5-
0.1-
0.1-
10-
Element
2%Ta
5%Hf
1%Zr
5%Sn
1%W
50%Li
2%Be
60%Ga
30%
Range ppm
0.1- 50%
0.1- 5%
5 -50%
2 -50%
1 -50%
1
-
20%
1 -2%
1 -5%
REE Package by Na peroxide fusion Ni crucible / ICP-MS
Element
FP6/MS33
Element
Range ppm
Element
Range ppm
Ag
As
Ba*
Be
Bi
Cd
Ce
Cs
Dy
Er
Eu
Ga
Gd
Hf
Ho
In
La
Li
Lu 5- 4%
20- 40%
1- 4%
1- 4%
0.1- 20%
1- 10%
0.5 -
60%
0.05-
2%
0.1- 10%
0.1
-
10% 0.1- 10%
1- 10%
0.1
-
10% 0.1- 10%
0.1- 4%
0.1- 10%
0.2- 40%
1- 40%
0.05 -
2%
Nb
Nd
Pb
Pr
Rb
Re
Sb
Se
Sm
Sn
Sr
Ta
Tb
Te
Th
Tl
Tm
U
W
10- 60% Y
0.5- 50%
0.1- 40% Yb
0.1
-
10%
20- 70% Zr
5 -50%
0.05- 20%
Al
0.01- 50%
0.5- 10% B
50- 10%
0.1
-
2% Ca
0.1- 70%
0.5- 20% Fe
0.01- 75%
20- 4%
K
0.05- 20%
0.1- 20% Mg
0.01- 60%
2-50%P
0.01- 50%
20- 50% S
0.05- 60%
0.1
-
50% Sc
20- 5%
0.05 -
4% Si
1 -50%
1-4% Ti
0.1- 60%
0.1- 4%
V
50- 5%
0.5- 4%
Mn
0.2- 75%
0.05- 2%
Cr
20- 5%
0.1 -
60%
1-50%
REE Sodium peroxide fusion Ni crucible for metallurgical samples / ICP-MS
*not complete recovery
Range ppm
FPH6/OM
Rare Earths Mineralisation Li borate Fusion ICP-MS Package
Lithium borate fusion can be used when elements such as Na and K also need to be determined. The flux is an eutectic mixture of lithium
metaborate and lithium tetraborate and is effective for a wide variety of oxide, silicate and carbonate minerals26.The fusion is done at higher
temperature (1000°C) and potentially leads to the losses of volatiles. This method uses platinum for the crucibles and is not recommended for
samples with high sulphide sulphur or copper contents.
Element
Range ppm
Element
Range ppm
Element
La
0.2- 20%Ho
0.02-
2%Nb
0.1- 5%
Ce
0.5- 30%Er
0.05-
5%Ta
0.1- 5%
Pr
0.05-
10%Tm
0.05-
1%Hf
0.1- 5%
Nd
0.1- 20%Yb
0.05-
5%Zr
1 -50%
Sm
0.05-
10%Lu
0.02-
1%Sn
1 -5%
Eu
0.05-
5%Y
0.5- 50%W
1 -5%
Gd
0.05-
5%Th
0.05-
0.1- 5%
Tb
0.02 - 2%Be
0.5- 2%
Dy
0.05-
5%U
0.05-
2%Ga
Range ppm
20%
REE Package by Li borate fusion / ICP-MS
FB6/MS34
Rare Earths Combined Digest Package
The combined digest offers a combination of low detection limits and complete dissolution by fusion the residue of four acid digest with lithium
borate and recombining this with the acid digest solution. This package is useful for the lithogeochemical characterisation of ultramafic rocks,
where REE and tantalum, in particular, are present in very low concentrations which maybe close to or below the detection limit of the lithium
borate fusion method alone.
Element
Range ppm
La
0.02- 5000Eu
0.02-1000Er
0.02- 1000
Ce
0.02- 5000Gd
0.02-1000Tm
0.02- 1000
Pr
0.01- 5000Tb
0.01-1000Yb
0.02- 1000
Nd
0.02- 5000Dy
0.02-1000Lu
0.01- 1000
Sm
0.02- 5000Ho
0.02-1000
REE
Element
Range ppm
Element
Range ppm
Combined digest / ICP-MS
CD/MS68
High Field Strength Element (HFSE) Combined Digest
Element
Range ppm Hf
0.1 -500Ta
0.02-500Y
0.1 -500
Nb
0.1 -500Th
0.02-5000Zr
1 -500
HFSE
Element
Range ppm Element
Range ppm
Combined digest / ICP-MS
CD/MS70
X-Ray Diffraction
Powder XRD is used in many areas where the identification of unknown materials is required; these include geological, environmental,
material science, biological and industrial applications.
The results given are either qualitative (descriptive of the sample make-up) or quantitative. Quantitative results can include the non-crystalline
(amorphous) content.
XRD Pulverise Package
Description
Code
Crush -2mm, rotary split 800g, pulverise 800g to 60um
XRD13
Qualitative Analysis
Element DescriptionCode
QUALITATIVE
Qualitative analysis for complete mineralogy
XRDQual
Quantitative Analysis
Element DescriptionCode
QUANTITATIVE
Quantitative analysis for complete mineralogy (crystalline content only)
XRDQuant
QUANTITATIVE Quantitative analysis for complete mineralogy and amorphous content
XRDQuant901
QUANTITATIVE Quantitative analysis for complete mineralogy and amorphous content
(2 x Scan analysis)
XRDQuant902
Appendix
Rare earths-Uranium deposit classification27,28
Precipitation
Conditions
Deposit Type Example
Associated elements
Minerals
Surface Processes /
synsedimentary
Surficial
deposits
Calcrete uranium
deposits, Yeelirrie,
Langer Heinrich
U-V (K-CO2)
calcium/magnesium carbonate,
carnotite
Quartzpebble
conglomerate
deposits
Elliot Lake,
Witwatersrand
U, Au, Ag
uranothorite, brannerite, coffinite,
pyrophyllite, chloritoid, muscovite,
chlorite, quartz, rutile, and pyrite
Phosphorite
deposits
Santa Quiteria and Itataia P-REE-Nb±Sr-Ca-Al-K-Umines, Florida and Idaho, Ti-Ta
Mt. Weld
fluorite, apatite, phosphorite,
fluorapatite
Lignite
Serres Basin, North and
South Dakota, Mulga
Rock
clay-rich lignit, carbonaceous sands
and clays (kaolinite), coffinite,
brannerite, ilmenite, rutile, anatase
Black shales
Ranstad, Ronneburg,
Rudnoye and ZapadnoKokpatasskaya deposits
Sandstone
deposits
The Wyoming basins,
Inkai, Niger, Gabon,
Karoo Basin
Diagenetic
Diagenetic
– Hydrothermal
Magmatic
– Hydrothermal
Metamorphic
– Hydrothermal
U±S-As-Se-Mo-Co-Ni-VCu-Zn-Pb-REE-Y (Si-OC-P), Sc, Au, Ag
marine organic-rich shale or coalrich pyritic shale, containing synsedimentary disseminated uranium
adsorbed onto organic material
U, Se, Mo, V, Cu, Pb
pitchblende, coffinite
Heavy mineral Coburne, Murray Basin,
sand deposits Cooljarloo
Ti-Fe-Zr-Th-REE±Cr-Sn
zircon, ilmenite, rutile, leucoxene,
chromite, kayanite
Unconformity- Alligator River,
related
Coronation Hill, The
deposits
Athabasca Basin,
Saskatchewan
U-Au-Cu-Co-Ni-Ag±ZnSn-Pb-Bi, Pt-Pd (Mg)
uraninite, pitchblende
Vein deposits
Jachymov, Bohemian
Massif, Schinkolobwe,
Port Radium
U, Mo, Pb, F
uranit, coffinit, brannerite, in shear
zone (brannerite, thorite)
Collapse
breccia pipe
deposits
Arizona
Breccia
complex
deposits
Olympic Dam, Ernest
Henry
Cu-U-Au-Ag-REE (S-F)
uranit, coffinite, (meta)-torbernite,
uranophane
Volcanic
deposits
Streltsovskoye, Dornod,
McDermitt
U, Pb, W, Sn
pitchblende, molybdenite
Metasomatite
deposits
Ross Adams,
Novokostantynivka,
ZhovtaRichka, Valhalla
U, Th, REE
uraninite, brannerite, thorite,
allanite, coffinite, uranophane
Intrusive
deposits
Rossing, Ilimaussaq
intrusive complex,
Palabora
U, REE, Zr, Nb, Be, Sr
agpaiticnepheline, syenite, alaskite,
granite, pegmatite,monzonites
Metamorphic
deposits
Greenbushes, Wodgina,
Mary Kathleen
Sn-Ta-Nb-Li, Be-Li-CsRb±U-Th REE (Si)
uranit, garnet, columbite, tantalite,
niobite, spodumene, lepidolite,
tourmaline, cassiterite, holtite,
turguoise
uraninite, pitchblende, which occur
as cavity fills and coatings on quartz
grains
Rare earth minerals that occur in economic or potentially economic deposits
Mineral
Formular29*
Environment26
REO
wt %
aeschynite
(Ce,Ca,Fe)(Ti,Nb)2(O,OH)6
Nephelinesyenite rocks.
36
allanite
Ca(REE,Ca)Al2(Fe++,Fe+++)
(SiO4)(Si2O7)O(OH)
Found in close association with calcite and barite in barite veins that
cut a dolomitic metamorphosed limestone. Epidote group.
30
anatase
TiO2
Usually secondary, derived from other Ti-bearing minerals. Common
as a detrital mineral
3
ancylite
Sr(Ce,La)(CO3)2(OH)·(H2O)
In hydrothermal veins in nephelinesyenites.
46
apatite
Ca5(PO4)3(F,Cl,OH)
Phosphorite deposits.
19
bastnäsite
(Ce,La,Y)CO3F
Contact or alteration zones in alkalic rocks.
76
brannerite
(U,Ca,Ce)(Ti,Fe)2O6
Found in the same settings as gold, including placers, quartz veins,
and in granite pegmatities. Alteration product of uraninite.
6
britholite
(Ce,Ca,Th,La,Nd)5(SiO4,PO4)3(OH,F)
In nephelinesyenites, pegmatites and contact deposits related to
them.
62
cerianite
(Ce++++,Th)O2
Partially absorbed inclusions of wall-rock in a dikelike zone of carbon- 81
ate rock cutting nephelinesyenite.
cheralite
(REE,Ca,Th)(P,Si)O4
Disseminated in a kaolinitized pegmatite dike. Cheralite-(Ce) (1953) is 5
now regarded as Ca-rich monazite-(Ce).
churchite
YPO4•2H2O
Scarce rare earth mineral associated with phosphate minerals.
5
eudialyte
Na4(Ca,Ce)2(Fe++,Mn,Y)
ZrSi8O22(OH,Cl)2
Nepheline-syenite rocks.
10
euxenite
(REE,Ca,U,Th)(Nb,Ta,Ti)2O6
granitepegmatites and a component of detrital black sands.
<40
fergusonite
(Nd,Ce)(Nb,Ti)O4
Rare earth deposit.
47
florencite
REEAl3(PO4)2(OH)6
Found in placer sands
32
gadolinite
(Ce,La,Nd,Y)2Fe++Be2Si2O10
In syenite pegmatite veins along a contact between basalt and monzonite.
52
huanghoite
BaREE(CO3)2F
Hydrothermal veins associated with rare-earth-bearing carbonatite
deposits in alkaline igneous complexes.
38
hydroxylbastnäsite
LnCO3(OH,F)
Red karstic bauxites.
75
kainosite
Ca2(Y,Ce)2Si4O12(CO3)•(H2O)
In vugs in pegmatites in granites and alkalic complexes.
38
loparite
(REE,Na,Ca)2(Ti,Nb)2O6
Primary mineral in differentiated nephelinesyenite massifs and alkalicpegmatites, replacing perovskite in carbonatites.
36
monazite
(REE,Th)PO4
Granitic pegmatites.
71
mosandrite
Na(Na,Ca)2(Ca,Ce,Y)4(Ti,Nb,Zr)
(Si2O7)2(O,F)2F3
Alteration product of rinkite.
<65
parisite
Ca(Nd,Ce,La)2(CO3)3F2
In calcite veins in hydrothermal deposits.
64
samarskite
(REE,Fe,U)(Nb,Ta)5O4
Accessory mineral in REE-rich granite pegmatites.
12
synchysite
Ca(Ce/Nd/Y)(CO3)2F
Found with parisite in REE-bearing pegmatites and alpine veins.
51
thalenite
Y3Si3O10(OH)
REE-bearing pegmatites
63
xenotime
(Y/Yb)PO4
Minor accessory mineral in both acidic and alkalic igneous rocks and
their pegmatites.
61
yttrotantalite
(Y,U,Fe)(Ta,Nb)O4
Accessory mineral in granite pegmatites.
<24
*The formular is for specific chemical variant of the mineral identified. Note one or more other chemical variants, in which the dominant element
varies from the one shown, may exist.
19
20
21
7
18
1
3
4
5
2
9
6
12
13
48
23
51
49
15
10
11
53
24
22
8
52
50
64
65
56
14
54
17
16
61
31
55
66
57
63
60
30
59
58
62
25
29
32
26
Primary deposits
Carbonatite
Associated
Selected
Other
REE
Production advanced deposits/
projects occurrences
Alkaline igneous
rock-associated
Iron-REE
Hydrothermal
other than alkaline
settings
Secondary deposits
Marine placers
Alluvial placers
(inc paleo-lakers)
Paleoplacers
Lateritic
Ion-adsorption
33
34
28
41
42
45
46
43
47
37
27
72
70
38 44
39
35
67
40
36
68
69
74
71
76
73
77
78
75
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
Bokan Mountain
Mountain Pass
Rock Canyon Creek
Snowbird
Lemhi Pass
Deep Sands
Nechalacho (Thor Lake)
Hoidas Lake
Bald Mountain
Bear Lodge
Iron Hill
Gallinas Mountains
Pajarito Mountain
Pea Ridge
Elliot Lake
Green Cove Springs
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
Carolina placers
Strange Lake
Karrat
Sarfartoq
Qeqertaasaq
Tikiusaaq
Kvanefjeld
Motzfeldt
Pitinga
Chiriguelo
Barro do Itapirapua
Araxa
Camaratuba
Bou Naga
Tamazeght complex
Longonjo
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
Etaneno
Lofdal
Steenkampskraal
Zandkopsdrift
Pilanesberg
Naboomspruit
Phalaborwa complex
Richards Bay
Karonge
Nkombwa Hill
Kangankunde
Songwe
Mrima Hill
Wigu Hill
Congolone
Norra Kärr
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
Bastnäs
Kiruna
Korsnas
Khibiny complex
Lovoze ro complex
Conakli
Nile Delta and Rosetta
Kute ssay ll
Amba Dongar
Chavara
Mana valakurichi
Orrisa
Maoniuping/Dalucao
Perak
Dong Pao
Payan Obo
65 Weishan
66 Xunwi/Longnan
67 Eneabba
68 Jangardup
69 Mount Weld
70 Cummins Range
71 Brockman
72 Nolans Bore
73 Olympic Dam
74 Mary Kathleen
75 WIM 150
76 Dubbo Zirconia
77 Fraser Island
78 North Stradbroke Island
Figure 6. Map showing the global distribution of REE deposits9
1
2
3
4
5
U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, 2009.
REE handbook, PROEDGE wire, http://www.reehandbook.com
U.S. Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, 2010.
U.S Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, 2011
Zaichenget al.2012.Monodisperse Fluorescent Organic/Inorganic
Composite Nanoparticles, 24 (17), 3415-3419.
6 TG Daily. New fluorescent OLEDs more efficient than once believed.by
David Gomez. http://www.tgdaily.com/
7 Campbell et al. 2010, Rare earth colorants: Ceramics Today, January 26.
8 Yoldjian et al. 1985, The use of rare earths in ceramics: Journal of the
Less Common Metals, v. 111, no. 1–2, September.
9 British Geological Survey, 2011.
10 Kennedy, 2010.Critical Strategic Failure in Rare Earth Resources – A
National Defense and Industrial Policy Failure.Society of Mining,
Metallurgy and Exploration Meeting.
11 Attrep, Moses, Jr.; and P. K. Kuroda, 1968, Promethium in pitchblende:
Journal of Inorganic and Nuclear Chemistry v. 30, no. 3, p. 699-703
12http://education.jlab.org/itselemental/ele061.html
13 http://www.reuters.com, March 2011
14 Industrial Minerals, 19 Nov, 2012; http://www.vinacomin.vn
15http://www.gwmg.ca/html/projects/exploration/Steenkampskraal/index.cfm
16http://www.questrareminerals.com/strangelakeproject.php
17http://avalonraremetals.com/projects/thor_lake/thor_lake_intro/
18http://tanbreez.com/en/
19http://www.arafuraresources.com.au/nolans-project/nolans-bore/
reo-distribution.html
20http://www.northernminerals.com.au
21 Rudnick, L.R. 1991. Restites, Eu anomalies, and the lower continental
crust. GeochemicaetCosmochimica, 56, 963-970.
22 Shields, G. et al. 1998. Stratigraphic trends in cerium anomaly in
authigenic marine carbonates and phosphates: diagenetic alteration or
seawater signals. Goldschmidt conference Toulouse.
23 Graf, J.L. 1977. Rare earth elements as hydrothermal tracers during
the formation of massive sulphide deposits in volcanic rocks, Economic
Geology, v.72, no. 4, p. 527-548.
24 Schade, J., Cornell, D.H., Theart, H.F.J. 1989. Rare earth element and
isotopic evidence for the genesis of the massive sulfide deposit, South
Africa. Economic Geology 84, 49-63.
25 Castor, S.B. et al. Rare earth elements, Fieldex Exploration. http://www.
fieldexexploration.com/images/property/1_RareEarths_FLX_02.pdf
26 Thomas R. Dulski. 1996. A manual for the chemical analysis of metals.
West Conshohocken.
27 McQueen, K.G. Ore deposit types and their primary expressions. CRC
LEME, Australia.
28 Lally, J. et al. 2006, Report 20: Uranium Deposits of the NT., Northern
Territory Geological Survey.
29 Source for mineral formulas: Webmineral.com
Perth Contact Details
Richard Holdsworth QA/QC Chemist 15 Davison Street, Maddington Western Australia Ph: +61 8 9251 8100 Evgenia Lebedeva
Geochemist
15 Davison Street, Maddington
Western Australia
Ph: +61 8 9251 8100

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