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Rare Earth Occurrences in Streams of Processing a Phosphate Ore

Geological Survey of Finland, Outokumpu 83500, Finland
Geological Survey of Finland, Espoo 02151, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2019, 9(5), 262;
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 27 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
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Rare earth elements (REEs) are defined as lanthanides with Y and Sc. Rare earth occurrences including the REE-bearing phases and their distributions, measured by rare earth oxides (REOs), in the streams of processing a phosphate ore were determined by using MLA, the mineral liberation analysis and EPMA, the electron probe microanalysis. The process includes an apatite ore beneficiation by flotation and further processing of the beneficiation concentrate with sulfuric acid. Twenty-six, sixty-two and twelve percent of the total REOs (TREO) contents from the ore end up in the products of beneficiation tailings, phosphogypsum (PG) and phosphoric acid, respectively. Apatite, allanite, monazite and pyrochlore are identified as REE-bearing minerals in the beneficiation process. In the beneficiation tailings, the REEs are mainly distributed in monazite (10.3% TREO), apatite (5.9% TREO), allanite (5.4% TREO) and pyrochlore (4.3% TREO). Gypsum, monazite, apatite and other REE-bearing phases were found to host REEs in the PG and the REEs distributions are 44.9% TREO in gypsum, 15.8% TREO in monazite, 0.6% TREO in apatite and 0.6% TREO in other REE-bearing phases. Perspectives on the efficient recovery of REEs from the beneficiation tailings and the PG are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: rare earth elements (REEs); phosphate ore processing; REE-bearing phases; beneficiation tailings; phosphogypsum (PG) rare earth elements (REEs); phosphate ore processing; REE-bearing phases; beneficiation tailings; phosphogypsum (PG)

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Yang, X.; Makkonen, H.T.; Pakkanen, L. Rare Earth Occurrences in Streams of Processing a Phosphate Ore. Minerals 2019, 9, 262.

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