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Cerium, Light Rare Earth Elements, LREE, REE Facts, ProEdge Media Corp., InvestorIntel
REE Facts | HREE Facts | LREE Facts | Rare Metal Resource
LREE : 57 Lanthanum | 58 Cerium | 59 Praseodymium | 60 Neodymium | 61 Promethium | 62 Samarium | 63 Europium | 64 Gadolinium
HREE : 65 Terbium | 66 Dysprosium | 67 Holmium | 68 Erbium | 69 Thulium | 70 Ytterbium | 71 Lutetium | 39 Yttrium
Cerium, Light Rare Earth Elements, LREE, REE Facts, ProEdge Media Corp., InvestorIntel
Facts about the Most Abundant Light Rare Earth Element Cerium
Tracy Weslosky, Editor, InvestorIntel
Source: REE Handbook

Cerium, REE Collection, ProEdge Media Corp., InvestorIntel It was serious news in 1801 when a dwarf planet, Ceres, was discovered circling in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Rare-earth scientists were so enthralled with this petite planet perambulating in our solar system that they named both an element and a mineral after it.

Cerium oxide is used to polish glass, metal, and gemstones, automotive catalytic converters to reduce pollution and added in the glassmaking process to decolorize it. Mixed with other elements cerium gives compact fluorescent bulbs the green part of the light spectrum and intriguingly, may be medically utilized for treating seasickness and morning sickness.

The word cereal and ceria are both named after the Roman goddess of agricultural and grain crops, Ceres. At 60 parts per million in the Earth's crust, cerium is more abundant than copper, cobalt, and lithium. Even though lighter flints are very small, hundreds of tons of Cerium are used every year to produce them.

Cerium is a lustrous silvery-dark grey metal that oxidizes readily in air. Finely divided cerium metal is very unstable in air. The metal is malleable and will likely ignite if cut with a knife.

Large resources of cerium are contained in LREE-enriched minerals. Cerium is the most abundant rareearth element in the Earth's crust and occurs at an average concentration of 60 parts per million. The primary source of cerium is from carbonatites and the LREE-mineral bastnäsite. Bastnäsite deposits in China and the United States constitute the largest percentage of the world's rare-earth economic resources. Cerium is also a major constituent in the LREE-mineral monazite which constitutes the second largest segment of rare-earth resources. Monazite deposits are located in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United States.

Cerium is mined from a variety of ore minerals and deposits using various methods. Bastnäsite is mined in the United States as a primary product from a hard-rock carbonatite. The deposit is mined via benchcut open pit methods. Ore is drilled and blasted, loaded into trucks by loaders, and hauled to the mill. At the mill the blasted ore is crushed, screened, and processed by flotation to produce a bastnäsite concentrate. In China, bastnäsite and lesser amounts of associated monazite are also mined from a carbonatite.

Monazite is recovered from heavy-mineral sands deposits in various parts of the world as a byproduct of mining zircon and titanium-minerals or tin minerals. Heavy mineral sands are recovered by surface placer methods from unconsolidated sands. Many of these deposits are mined using floating dredges which separate the heavy-mineral sands from the lighter weight fraction with an on-board wet mill through a series of wet-gravity equipment that includes screens, hydrocyclones, spirals, and cone concentrators. Consolidated or partially consolidated sand deposits that are too difficult to mine by dredging are mined by dry methods. Ore is stripped by typical earth-moving equipment with bulldozers, scrapers, and loaders or by water jet methods. Ore recovered by these methods is crushed and screened and then processed by the wet mill described above. Wet mill heavy-mineral concentrate is sent to a dry mill for processing to separate the individual heavy-minerals using a combination of scrubbing, drying, screening, electrostatic, electromagnetic, magnetic, and gravity processes. Vein monazite has been mined by hard-rock methods in South Africa and the United States (Hedrick, 2010). Special thanks: James Hedrick, www.REEHandbook.com

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