Geology and mineralogy of rare earth elements deposits and occurrences in Finland

Thair Al-Ani, F. Molnár, Panu Lintinen, Seppo Leinonen

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Abstract

Rare earth elements (REE) have critical importance in the manufacturing of many electronic products in the high-tech and green-tech industries. Currently, mining and processing of REE is strongly concentrated in China. A substantial growth in global exploration for REE deposits has taken place in the recent years and has resulted in considerable advances in defining new resources. This study provides an overview of the mineralogical and petrological peculiarities of the most important REE prospects and metallogeny of REE in Finland. There is a particularly good potential for future discoveries of carbonatite hosted REE deposits in the Paleozoic Sokli carbonatite complex, as well as in the Paleoproterozoic Korsnäs and Kortejärvi Laivajoki areas. This review also provides information about the highest known REE concentration in the alkaline intrusions of Finland in the Tana Belt and other alkaline rock hosted occurrences (e.g., Otanmäki and Katajakangas). Significant REE enrichments in hydrothermal alteration zones are also known in the Kuusamo Belt (Uuniniemi and Honkilehto), and occurrences of REE-rich mineralisation are also present in granite pegmatite bodies and greisens in central and southern Finland (Kovela monazite granite and the Rapakivi Granite batholith at Vyborg, respectively). REE minerals in all of the localities listed above were identified and analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electron microprobes (EMPs). In localities of northern and central Finland, both primary rock forming and epigenetic-hydrothermal REE minerals were found, namely phosphates (monazite-Ce, xenotime-Y), fluorcarbonates (bastnäsite-Ce, synchysite), and hydrated carbonates (ancylite-Ce), hydrated aluminium silicates (allanite-Ce, Fe-allanite, cerite, chevkinite), oxides (fergusonite, euxenite) and U-Pb rich minerals. The chondrite normalized REE concentrations, the La/Nd ratios and the REE vs. major element contents in several types of REE bearing minerals from prospects in Finland can be used to identify and define variable REE fractionation processes (carbonatites), as well as to discriminate deposits of different origins.

Original languageEnglish
Article number356
JournalMinerals
Volume8
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 18 2018

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Keywords

  • Crystal-chemistry of REE minerals
  • Finland
  • REE enrichments in carbonatite and alkaline rocks
  • REE in hydrothermal alteration zones and granitic rocks
  • REE mineralogy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology

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