The Enrichment Regularity of Rare Earth Elements and Resource Characteristics in Polymetallic Nodules/Crusts
Polymetallic nodules/crusts are one of the most important mineral deposits in the ocean, in which iron, manganese, copper, cobalt, nickel and other metals are rich, and rare earth elements are rich, too. In this study, the contents of 11 rare earth samples in polymetallic nodules/crusts from the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean and north of the South China Sea are analyzed. The average content of rare earth in polymetallic nodules/crusts is 1265.57×10-6, the average content of nodules is 1096.96×10-6, and the average content of crust is 1623.88×10-6. The enrichment of rare earth elements is controlled by iron and manganese oxides and clay minerals in nodules/crusts, which could absorb rare earth elements from seawater and sediment. Ce elements are highly enriched, making polymetallic nodules/crusts become the first used rare earth elements in mineral development.
Xiaoming Sang, Pengcheng Wang, Liqun Ai, Yungang Li and Jinglong Bu
L. F. Gao et al., "The Enrichment Regularity of Rare Earth Elements and Resource Characteristics in Polymetallic Nodules/Crusts", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 284-286, pp. 2497-2500, 2011