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Why are rare earth minerals so difficult to select?

2024-03-29 Xinhai (436)

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Rare earth minerals, also known as rare earth element minerals or rare earth metal minerals, mainly exist in the form of minerals in the earth's crust. As the basic constituent elements of minerals, they are present in the mineral crystal lattice in the form of ionic compounds and constitute essential components of minerals.

There are 17 elements in rare earth minerals, namely lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), praseodymium (Pr), neodymium (Nd), promethium (Pm), samarium (Sm), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd), terbium ( Tb), dysprosium (Dy), holmium (Ho), erbium (Er), thulium (Tm), ytterbium (Yb), lutetium (Lu), scandium (Sc) and yttrium (Y), these elements are extremely precious and are countless Raw materials necessary for high-precision industries have important economic and strategic value.

1 Mineral properties are complex

The composition of rare earth ores is very complex, and the mineral composition is diverse. There are also many useful minerals and gangue minerals. The separation process needs to be completed through multiple combined processes, and the requirements for mineral processing technology are very high.

2. High process technology requirements

After decomposing the rare earth ore concentrate to obtain mixed rare earth compounds, in order to obtain a single pure rare earth element, a purification process needs to be carried out for each element. This process requirement is very complex and difficult, so the requirements for process and technology are very high. The main reasons are as follows:

The physical and chemical properties of rare earth elements are very similar

There are many impurities associated with rare earth minerals

3 Rare earth mine pollution problem

Rare earth development and utilization technology will not only cause pollution to the surrounding water environment and ecological environment, but will also affect downstream rare earth mineral elements, making further mining even more difficult.