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Research at St Andrews

Resolving the structural state of heavy rare earth elements in lateritic ion adsorption clays

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Author(s)

Anouk M. Borst, Adrian A. Finch, Nicola J. Horsburgh, Martin Smith, Eva Marquis, Peter Nason, Guillaume Estrade, Kalotina Geraki, Kathryn Goodenough, Jindrich Kynicky, Xu Cheng

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Lateritic Ion Adsorption Deposits (IADs) are the world's dominant source for heavy rare earth elements (HREE: Gd-Lu), currently mostly mined from China. IADs in Brazil, Madagascar and South East Asia may provide alternative supply for HREE. However, the exact nature of REE in the IADs is unclear; for example whether deposits elsewhere are directly analogous to the easily-leachable Chinese laterites, and whether the REE are truly adsorbed, structurally bound in clays or hosted in other mineral phases.

This study compares economically mineralized IADs from the Zhaibei granite, China to prospective IADs developed on peralkaline igneous rocks from Madagascar. We use synchrotron X-Ray Fluorescence (SXRF) element mapping and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) to study the distribution and coordination state of light and heavy REE. We explore sites of adsorption to clays and the presence of HREE in other mineral phases. The Malagasy and Chinese laterites have kaolinite as the dominant REE-hosting clay phase, with minor halloysite. XAS data demonstrate that the REE occur as 8 to 9-coordinated outer-sphere basal surface complexes on kaolinite, rather than 5- or 6-coordinated edge complexes, or 6- or 8-coordinated interlayer complexes, thus confirming the truly adsorbed nature of REE in lateritic IAD's from both localities.

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLIFE WITH ORE DEPOSITS ON EARTH, PROCEEDINGS OF THE 15TH SGA BIENNIAL MEETING, 2019, VOLS 1-4
PublisherSOC GEOLOGY APPLIED MINERAL DEPOSITS-SGA
Pages1748-1751
Number of pages4
Volume4
ISBN (Print)9780852619650
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event15th SGA Biennial Meeting on Life with Ore Deposits on Earth - Glasgow
Duration: 27 Aug 201930 Aug 2019

Conference

Conference15th SGA Biennial Meeting on Life with Ore Deposits on Earth
CityGlasgow
Period27/08/1930/08/19

    Research areas

  • AMBOHIMIRAHAVAVY COMPLEX, MINERALIZATION, ROCKS, RESOURCES, EVOLUTION, MINERALS, CHINA

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