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ECONOMY, ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT
ArticleName Valuation of rare earth elements in ore deposits in the Murmansk Region
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2020.09.05
ArticleAuthor Kalashnikov A. O., Konopleva N. G., Ivanyuk G. Yu.
ArticleAuthorData

Geological Institute, Kola Science Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, Apatity, Russia:

A. O. Kalashnikov, Senior Researcher, Candidate of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences, kalashnikov@geoksc.apatity.ru
N. G. Konopleva, Senior Researcher, Candidate of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences
G. Yu. Ivanyuk, Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences

Abstract

The Kola rare-earth metallogenic province is the biggest in Russia. The largest resources of rare earth elements (REE) are confined to the Khibiny apatite deposits and loparite and eudialyte deposits of the Lovozero massif. In order to compare the prospects of different Kola deposits and occurrences, we estimated the value of rare-earth oxides contained in ores pursuant to average market prices of certain rare-earth oxides. Heavy REE (Dy, Yb, Tm, Tb, Lu) and Nd make the largest contribution to the value of REE-bearing ores despite the fact that light REE (La and Ce) make up the majority of the REE resources of almost all deposits in the region. Given the variety of mineral processing technologies and infrastructure available, we have identified the most important objectives to advance the REE industry in the region: (1) REE recovery from the currently produced minerals, namely, apatite of the Khibiny deposits and baddeleyite of the Kovdor deposit—high-level processing of the Kovdor baddeleyite concentrate can make Russia a dominant player on scandium market; (2) launching mining operations in the multicomponent (Ti-Ta-Nb)-REE-Zr Lovozero eudialyte deposit (in the first place, the Alluaiv site); (3) revaluation of the Afrikanda deposit in the light of new technologies for processing perovskite–titanomagnetite ores, as well as due to the fact that Russia currently lacks domestic production of titanium raw materials; (4) prospecting and exploration of the Keivy occurrences in alkaline granites and pegmatites and the development of processing technologies for these complex ores. The study has been accomplished in the framework of R&D project of the Mining Institute, Kola Science Center, Russian Academy of Sciences, and is partly supported by the Russian Foundation for
Basic Research, Grant No. 12-05-98802. The article is based on the analytical note on request of the Accounting Chamber of the Russian Federation in 2015.

keywords Rare earth elements, lanthanoids, scandium, Kola rare earth province, apatite, eudialyte, baddeleyite, mineral resources
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