Rare earth elements from heavy mineral sands: assessing the potential of a forgotten resource

Mudd, G and Jowitt, S 2016, 'Rare earth elements from heavy mineral sands: assessing the potential of a forgotten resource', Transactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy, Section B: Applied Earth Science, vol. 125, no. 3, pp. 107-113.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Rare earth elements from heavy mineral sands: assessing the potential of a forgotten resource
Author(s) Mudd, G
Jowitt, S
Year 2016
Journal name Transactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy, Section B: Applied Earth Science
Volume number 125
Issue number 3
Start page 107
End page 113
Total pages 7
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Abstract Minerals and Mining and the AusIMM.Heavy mineral (HM) sands are usually exploited for titanium and zirconium minerals such as rutile, ilmenite and zircon, but also contain a variety of possible co/by-products, including critical metals such as rare earth elements (REE) in minerals such as monazite and xenotime. The global HM sands industry remains dominated by Australia, which until the mid-1990s included the export of monazite concentrates for REE extraction and provided ∼15-30% of world REE production. The lack of recognition for HM sands as a potential REE resource adds to confusion about potential REE supplies. This study presents a comprehensive assessment of Australian HM sand resources, including an assessment of likely contained monazite, showing that these REE can potentially double the value of a HM sand project. As such, there remains significant opportunities for HM sands projects to increase their economic value by also extracting monazite and xenotime for their REE, with further research needed to assess environmental and radioactivity issues.
Subject Environmental Engineering not elsewhere classified
Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Heavy mineral sands
Monazite
Rare earth elements
Rare earth oxides
Xenotime
DOI - identifier 10.1080/03717453.2016.1194955
Copyright notice © 2016 Institute of Materials,
ISSN 0371-7453
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