Heavy Rare Earths (HREEs) and Mineral Identification

Heavy rare earths (HREEs) are only rare in minable quantities. Heavy rare earths include:

  • Europium
  • Gadolinium
  • Terbium
  • Dysprosium
  • Holmium
  • Erbium
  • Thulium
  • Ytterbium
  • Lutetium
  • Yttrium

Heavy rare earths (HREEs) are important for a wide range of high tech and energy applications. For example, dysprosium is used for permanent magnets, europium for phosphors and fuel cells, terbium for phosphors and permanent magnets, and yttrium for red phosphor, fluorescent lamps, ceramics, and metal alloys.

Rare earth bearing minerals for HREEs can include monazite and xenotime – two minerals that can be found in the spectral libraries available with the oreXpress and EZ-ID. They are both phosphate minerals. Xenotime is usually found in acidic and alkaline rocks and occasionally in mica schists and quartz gneisses. Monazite is associated with high specific gravity minerals such as ilmenite, magnetite, rutile, and zircon.

Production of HREEs is tied to the production of principal products where HREEs are a byproduct. Exploration and mining of HREEs is usually unresponsive to market demand for byproducts, contributing to the lack of available HREEs.

The oreXpress spectrometer, and EZ-ID mineral identification software, are well-suited for exploration geologists looking for all types of HREE deposits.

Every oreXpress geological spectrometer includes our DARWin SP Data Acquisition software and is available with EZ-ID and the Custom Library Builder Module. EZ-ID allows you to compare your target sample with a known library of mineral spectra. EZ-ID comes with the USGS spectral library and is available with the SpecMIN library from Spectral International.

EZ-ID features:

  • Fast and accurate identification of an unknown mineral to a known spectral library sample
  • Ease-of-use: take your scan using an oreXpress or oreXpress platinum and see results in real-time
  • Simple, consistent user interface
  • USGS and SpecMIN libraries available
  • Weighted score for best matches
  • Include or exclude spectral regions of interest for optimal results

Using an oreXpress with EZ-ID delivers the following benefits for exploration geologists exploring for uranium:

  • Quickly take a lot of samples
  • Cover more ground in less time
  • More accurate data provides a more complete picture of what you are looking at
  • Less time and expense than waiting for samples to come back from the lab
  • Less drilling – better results quickly delivers a return-on- investment

A known sample of monazite from EZ-ID. EZ-ID will match your taget scan against library samples like this.

A known sample of xenotime from EZ-ID.