Understanding Geochemical Processes Using Rare Earth Element Content of Natural and Anthropogenic Materials

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021) | Viewed by 9918

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Department of Prehistory Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Valencia, Avda. Blasco Ibáñez, 28, 46010 Valencia, Spain
Interests: archaeological science; chemical elements; archaeological materials; analytical chemistry
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Guest Editor
British Geological Survey (BGS), Keyworth, Nottingham, UK
Interests: geochemistry; minerals; environmental science; sediments; plants; rocks; inorganic analytical chemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is a long history of using rare earth element (REE) concentrations in pure geochemistry and deep earth processes, i.e., magma chamber evolution. However, there has been less focus on either natural surficial processes such as weathering, sediment transport etc. or human/anthropogenic activities as diverse as farming or industrial contamination. The importance of REE movement through the environment will increase with their use for turbine magnets in the green electric economy. The aim of this Special Issue is to encourage the wider use and reporting of REE as tracers of these geochemical processes in the surface environment. Thus, building a community of geochemists, soil and materials scientists, contamination specialists and archaeologists.

Dr. Gianni Gallello
Dr. Simon Chenery
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • rare earth elements (REE)
  • geochemical processes
  • soils
  • sediments
  • rocks
  • vegetation
  • food
  • industrial materials
  • contemporary human activities and ancient human activities

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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22 pages, 7862 KiB  
Article
REE Geochemical Characteristic of Apatite: Implications for Ore Genesis of the Zhijin Phosphorite
by Liu Xiqiang, Zhang Hui, Tang Yong and Liu Yunlong
Minerals 2020, 10(11), 1012; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10111012 - 13 Nov 2020
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 3562
Abstract
Phosphorite-type rare earth deposits, which are one of the important types of rare earth elements (REE) ore deposits, have attracted increasing attention because of the extreme enrichments in heavy rare earth elements (HREE), including Yttrium (Y). In this study, in situ geochemical analyses [...] Read more.
Phosphorite-type rare earth deposits, which are one of the important types of rare earth elements (REE) ore deposits, have attracted increasing attention because of the extreme enrichments in heavy rare earth elements (HREE), including Yttrium (Y). In this study, in situ geochemical analyses of apatite grains from Zhijin phosphorites were conducted using electron probe microanalysis (EMPA) and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Based on EPMA mapping analysis, we show that rare earth elements and Yttrium (REY) entering into the crystal lattice by isomorphism rather than by inclusions of REY-bearing accessory minerals. The post-Archean Australian Shales (PAAS)-normalized REY patterns of the apatite grains are characterized by hat-shaped MREE-enriched patterns. We interpret that this pattern may reflect the REE distribution of seawater at that time. We propose that in a local, reducing environment, dramatically increased the concentration of REY in seawater, and resulted in the MREE-enriched patterns in the ancient ocean. The main mechanism for the genesis of the Zhijin phosphorite deposit is the apatite crystallizes during the mixing process of REY- and P-rich fluid and oxidizing seawater. Full article
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Review

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24 pages, 3541 KiB  
Review
Geochemical Occurrence of Rare Earth Elements in Mining Waste and Mine Water: A Review
by Konstantina Pyrgaki, Vasiliki Gemeni, Christos Karkalis, Nikolaos Koukouzas, Petros Koutsovitis and Petros Petrounias
Minerals 2021, 11(8), 860; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11080860 - 10 Aug 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5118
Abstract
Μining waste, processing by-products and mine water discharges pose a serious threat to the environment as in many cases they contain high concentrations of toxic substances. However, they may also be valuable resources. The main target of the current review is the comparative [...] Read more.
Μining waste, processing by-products and mine water discharges pose a serious threat to the environment as in many cases they contain high concentrations of toxic substances. However, they may also be valuable resources. The main target of the current review is the comparative study of the occurrence of rare earth elements (REE) in mining waste and mine water discharges produced from the exploitation of coal, bauxite, phosphate rock and other ore deposits. Coal combustion ashes, bauxite residue and phosphogypsum present high percentages of critical REEs (up to 41% of the total REE content) with ΣREY content ranging from 77 to 1957.7 ppm. The total REE concentrations in mine discharges from different coal and ore mining areas around the globe are also characterised by a high range of concentrations from 0.25 to 9.8 ppm and from 1.6 to 24.8 ppm, respectively. Acid mine discharges and their associated natural and treatment precipitates seem to be also promising sources of REE if their extraction is coupled with the simultaneous removal of toxic pollutants. Full article
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