Special Issue "Rare Earth: From Exploration to Mining"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Antonio Nieto

John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: rare earth and critical mineral economics; real-time GIS systems in mining operation; computer modeling and simulation of mining systems; oceanic and unconventional mining methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rare earth elements (REEs) comprise the 15 Lanthanides elements. They are used in several technologies and applications including the automobile and petroleum industry, in magnets for wind turbines, and phosphors in lighting and computer and TV screens. Rare Earth Elements are actually quite abundant in the earth’s crust. REEs are named “rare” because they are present in relatively low concentrations and are difficult to extract economically.

China holds around 50% of the global REE reserves, and until 2012, production of REEs was almost exclusive to China. Over the past decade, China has been steadily decreasing its REE export quotas, reducing the supply of REEs available to the rest of the world.

Thus, it is extremely important to be aware and understand the risks facing the supply of REEs, as awareness is the first and most important step in developing strategies to mitigate supply risk. This issue is aimed to promote and share knowledge related to REEs exploration and extraction.

Prof. Dr. Antonio Nieto
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • rare earths
  • lanthanides
  • criticality REE
  • strategic minerals
  • strategic materials

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Notes on the Potential for the Concentration of Rare Earth Elements and Yttrium in Coal Combustion Fly Ash
Minerals 2015, 5(2), 356-366; https://doi.org/10.3390/min5020356
Received: 20 May 2015 / Revised: 3 June 2015 / Accepted: 16 June 2015 / Published: 23 June 2015
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1098 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Certain Central Appalachian coals, most notably the Fire Clay coal with a REY-enriched volcanic ash fall tonstein, are known to be enriched in rare earth elements. The Fire Clay tonstein has a greater contribution to the total coal + parting REY than would
[...] Read more.
Certain Central Appalachian coals, most notably the Fire Clay coal with a REY-enriched volcanic ash fall tonstein, are known to be enriched in rare earth elements. The Fire Clay tonstein has a greater contribution to the total coal + parting REY than would be inferred from its thickness, accounting for about 20%–35% of the REY in the coal + parting sequence. Underground mining, in particular, might include roof and floor rock and the within-seam partings in the mined product. Beneficiation, necessary to meet utility specifications, will remove some of the REY from the delivered product. In at least one previously published example, even though the tonstein was not present in the Fire Clay coal, the coal was enriched in REY. In this case, as well as mines that ship run-of-mine products to the utility, the shipped REY content should be virtually the same as for the mined coal. At the power plant, however, the delivered coal will be pulverized, generally accompanied by the elimination of some of the harder rock, before it is fired into the boiler. Overall, there are a wide range of variables between the geologic sample at the mine and the power plant, any or all of which could impact the concentration of REY or other critical materials in the coal combustion products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rare Earth: From Exploration to Mining)

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