Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook: Metals and minerals 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 1 (1978-1979)
Moore, Christine M.
Rare-earth minerals and metals, pp. 735-742 PDF (915.0 KB)
740 MINERALS YEARBOOK, 1978-79 WORLD REVIEW World production of monazite increased for the fourth consecutive year, due to rapid expansion of Australian production. Bastnäsite production also increased in 1979. Those countries with processing capability for various rare-earth products included Austria, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Japan, the U.S.S.R., and the United Kingdom. Australia.—According to the Mineral Sands Producers' Association Ltd., monazite production in short tons was as follows: State 1977 1978 1979 New South Wales 327 372 1,861 Queensland Western Australia Total 683 8,636 - — 16,147 — — 16,162 9,646 16,519 18,023 Associated Minerals Consolidated Ltd. and Consolidated Rutile Ltd., agreed to jointly mine and process zircon, rutile, monazite, and other heavy minerals located along a common lease boundry on North Stradbroke Island, Queensland. Jennings Industries announced plans to sell its leases on monazite-bearing lands near Eneabba to Consolidated Goldfields of Australia. The company's processing facilities and equipment at Eneabba and Geraldton were to be sold to Associated Minerals Consolidated, a subsidiary of Consolidated Goldfields of Australia Western Titanium Ltd., a subsidiary of Associated Minerals Consolidated, announced plans to increase rutile production at its Eneabba heavy minerals separation facility. The company produced monazite concentrates at the plant. El. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc., became the major shareholder in Allied Eneabba Pty. Ltd., a major monazite producer, by increasing its equity to 58.5%. The remaining 41.5% equity was held by public shareholders. Brazil.—A group of 10 banks headed by Chemical Bank of New York loaned Government-owned Mineraçao Vale do Paranaiba $30 million to investigate a carbonatite complex at Tapira, Minas Gerais. The company's initial plans were to develop processing facilities for phosphate. Associated minerals that may be processed include anatase, columbium, and rare-earth ores. Canada.—Denison Mines Ltd. ceased production of yttrium concentrates from uranium tailings at its Elliot Lake, Ontario, facilities due to high production costs. The facilities were scheduled to remain on a care-and-maintenance basis. A summary of rare-earth occurrences in Canada was issued.3 China, Mainland.—Inoue Japax Research Inc. concluded an agreement with the Government of China to undertake joint research and development of rare-earth technology, including ore analysis, ore dressing, and product applicaton. Two rare-earth treatment facilities were reportedly under consideration by the Government of China—one at Baotou to produce 5,500 tons per year of concentrate and a second, at an unannounced location, to produce 1,100 tons per year. Mitsui Metal Mining Co. and Mitsui & Co. sent teams to China to investigate a possible joint project involving development of rareearth processing based on the Poyun iron ore deposit. India.—The Orissa Sand Complex Project, a venture of Indian Rare Earths Ltd., was established to begin work on mineral sands separation facilities near Chatrapur, Orissa. The complex would produce monazite, synthetic rutile, zircon, and sillimanite. Japan.—Sumitimo Metal Mining began production of samarium-cobalt magnet alloys at Kunitimo, Hokkaido. The company plans to double the capacity of the 44-shortton-per-year plant by 1980. Production of samarium-cobalt magnets in Japan was 20 short tons in 1976, 45 tons in 1977, and was estimated at 66 tons in 1978. Kenya.—The Government of Kenya approved the assignment of the right to develop a rare-earth deposit at Mrima Hill to Rhône-Poulenc Inc. Malaysia.—A Japanese group reportedly began studies of rare-earth resources in Malaysia. Norway.—Mitsubishi Chemical Industries Ltd. and Megon A/S formed MCIMegon to process Malaysian xenotime concentrate to high-purity yttrium oxide at a facility in Kjeller, Norway. Sri Lanka.—In 1978, Ceylon Mineral Sands Corporation reportedly began stockpiling approximately 300 long tons per year of crude monazite that resulted from processing heavy mineral sands for ilmenite, rutile, and zircon. United Kingdom.—Steetly Chemicals Ltd. began production of various rare-earth oxides, chlorides, and hydrates from imported monazite at Widnes. The facility reportedly has a rated capacity of 1,650 tons per year REO.
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