Samarium neodymium direct dating of fluorite mineralization

Security of supply of a number of raw materials is of concern for the European Union; foremost among these are the rare earth elements (REE), which are used in a range of modern technologies.

A number of research projects, including the EURARE and ASTER projects, have been funded in Europe to investigate various steps along the REE supply chain.

This, in turn, influences the Nd ratio of the isotope system provides important information on crustal formation and the isotopic evolution of the solar system.

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The mineralization shows mainly vein, banded and brecciated structures.

This paper addresses the initial part of that supply chain, namely the potential geological resources of the REE in Europe.

Although the REE are not currently mined in Europe, potential resources are known to be widespread, and many are being explored.

I’m therefore going to take a little time here to address some of the key errors that keep cropping up. The term ‘rare-earth mineral’ is NOT synonymous with the terms ‘rare-earth elements’ or ‘rare-earth metals’.

The International Mineralogical Association defines a mineral as “an element or chemical compound that is normally crystalline and that has been formed as a result of geological processes” [1].

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