Rare Earth Elements from a carbonatite deposit: mineralogical characterization and geochemical behavior

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Rare Earth Elements from a carbonatite deposit: mineralogical characterization and geochemical behavior

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » lun 12 feb, 2018 10:47

▪ Edahbi, M., Plante, B., Benzaazoua, M., Kormos, L., Pelletier, M. (2018): Rare Earth Elements (La, Ce, Pr, Nd, and Sm) from a Carbonatite Deposit: Mineralogical Characterization and Geochemical Behavior. Minerals, 8(2), 55; doi:10.3390/min8020055.

Geochemical characterization including mineralogical measurements and kinetic testing was completed on samples from the Montviel carbonatite deposit, located in Quebec (Canada). Three main lithological units representing both waste and ore grades were sampled from drill core. A rare earth element (REE) concentrate was produced through a combination of gravity and magnetic separation. All samples were characterized using different mineralogical techniques (i.e., quantitative evaluation of minerals by scanning electron microscopy (QEMSCAN), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy with X-ray microanalysis (SEM-EDS)) in order to quantify modal mineralogy, liberation, REE deportment and composition of REE-bearing phases. The REE concentrate was then submitted for kinetic testing (weathering cell) in order to investigate the REE leaching potential. The mineralogical results indicate that: (i) the main REE-bearing minerals in all samples are burbankite, kukharenkoite-Ce, monazite, and apatite; (ii) the samples are dominated by REE-free carbonates (i.e., calcite, ankerite, and siderite); and (iii) LREE is more abundant than HREE. Grades of REE minerals, sulfides and oxides are richer in the concentrate than in the host lithologies. The geochemical test results show that low concentrations of light REE are leached under kinetic testing conditions (8.8–139.6 µg/L total light REE). These results are explained by a low reactivity of the REE-bearing carbonates in the kinetic testing conditions, low amounts of REE in solids, and by precipitation of secondary REE minerals.
Marco E. Ciriotti

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