5:15 PM - 6:30 PM
[SRD41-P02] Heavy rare earth potential of apatite resources
Keywords:apatite, HREE resources
Apatites contain a variety of REEs in concentrations from several thousands of ppm to several wt.%. They are generally enriched in LREEs (e.g., Roeder et al., 1987), however, some apatites are rich in HREEs: apatites in sedimentary phosphate rocks (Emsbo et al. 2015) and deep sea mud (e.g., Kon et al. 2014), and igneous phosphate rocks (e.g., Hoshino et al., 2015). In addition, both Th and U contents in apatite are very low in contrast to common REE minerals such as monazite and xenotime, and this may be a big advantage over the other types of REE deposits (e.g., alkaline REE deposits).
In view of the future of HREE supply (considering both feasibility and sustainability), one of the most promising sources of HREEs is apatite ores that are mined for fertilizer production, because apatite ores are sufficient in reserves and contain enough amounts of the whole REEs that can cover the world demand.