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Geochemical Journal
Geochemical Journal An open access journal for geochemistry
Published for geochemistry community from Geochemical Society of Japan.

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

Akiko Yamaguchi, Tasuku Honda, Masato Tanaka, Kazuya Tanaka, Yoshio Takahashi
Geochemical Journal, Vol. 52, No. 5, P. 415-425, 2018


Ion-adsorption type rare earth elements (REE) deposit in weathered granite is the main source of REE essential for high-technology industries. However, this type deposit has not been well surveyed in Japan. In this study, Bulk REE abundances (=REETOT), ion-exchangeable REE (=REEEX) by ammonium chloride solution, and percentage of REEEX relative to REETOT (=REEPER) in fresh and weathered granite samples in Southwest Japan (i.e., Hiroshima and Shimane Prefectures) were determined. The REETOT and REEPER were comparable to those of ion-adsorption type REE deposits in China. This finding indicates that ion-adsorption type REE deposits can also be found in Japan. Furthermore, extended X-ray adsorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectra of yttrium in original samples and samples after the extraction of ion-exchangeable REE showed that (i) REE in samples with high REEPER mainly forms outer-sphere (OS) complexes and (ii) the remaining REE in the rocks after the extraction forms inter-sphere complexes. These findings suggest that ion-exchangeable REE forms OS complexes, which causes the high extraction rate by the ion-exchange reaction.


REE, EXAFS, surface complex, weathered granite, ion-adsorption type deposit

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