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Discovery of ion-adsorption type deposits of rare earth elements (REE) in Southwest Japan with speciation of REE by extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy

Yamaguchi, Akiko*  ; Honda, Tasuku*; Tanaka, Masato*; Tanaka, Kazuya ; Takahashi, Yoshio*

Ion-adsorption type REE deposits in weathered granite are main sources of REE essential for high-technology industries. However, these type deposits have not been searched in Japan. In this study, Bulk REE abundances (= REE$$_{TOT}$$), ion-exchangeable REE (= REE$$_{EX}$$) by ammonium chloride solution, and percentage of REE$$_{EX}$$ relative to REE$$_{TOT}$$ (= REE$$_{PER}$$) in fresh and weathered granite samples in Southwest Japan (i.e., Hiroshima and Shimane Prefectures) were determined. The REE$$_{TOT}$$ and REE$$_{PER}$$ were comparable to those of ion-adsorption type REE deposits in China. Extended X-ray adsorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectra of REE in original samples and samples after the extraction of ion-exchangeable REE showed that (i) REE in samples with high REE$$_{PER}$$ mainly forms outer-sphere complexes and (ii) the remaining REE in the rocks after the extraction forms inter-sphere complexes.

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Category:Geochemistry & Geophysics

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