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Ancient and modern types of sedimentary placer deposits formed in both alluvial and coastal environments have been signficant sources of the rare earth elements (REEs). The REE-bearing minerals in placer-type deposits are primarily monazite [(Ce,La,Nd,Th)PO4] and sometimes xenotime (YPO4), which are high-density (heavy) minerals that accumulate with the suite of heavy minerals. Monazite has been extracted from many heavy mineral placers as a coproduct of the economic recovery of associated industrial minerals, such as titanium oxide minerals (ilmenite, rutile), zircon, sillimanite, garnet, staurolite, and others. Xenotime has been produced from some alluvial deposits as a coproduct of tin (cassiterite)...

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