A study of rare metal indicator minerals and glacial dispersal was carried out at the Strange Lake Zr – Y – heavy rare earth element deposit in northern Quebec and Labrador, Canada. The heavy mineral (>3.2 specific gravity) and mid-density (3.0–3.2 specific gravity) nonferromagnetic fractions of mineralized bedrock from the deposit and till up to 50 km down ice of the deposit were examined to determine the potential of using rare earth element and high fileld strength element indicator minerals for exploration. The deposit contains oxide, silicate, phosphate, and carbonate indicator minerals, some of which (cerianite, uraninite, fluorapatite, rhabdophane, thorianite, danburite, and aeschynite) have not been reported in previous bedrock studies of Strange Lake. Indicator minerals that could be useful in the exploration for similar deposits include Zr silicates (zircon, secondary gittinsite (CaZrSi2O7), and other hydrated Zr±Y±Ca silicates), pyrochlore ((Na,Ca)2Nb2O6(OH,F)), and thorite (Th(SiO4))/thorianite (ThO2) as well as rare earth element minerals monazite ((La,Ce,Y,Th)PO4), chevkinite ((Ce,La,Ca,Th)4(Fe,Mg)2(Ti,Fe)3Si4O22), parisite (Ca(Ce,La)2(CO3)3F2), bastnaesite (Ce(CO3)F), kainosite (Ca2(Y,Ce)2Si4O12(CO3)·H2O), and allanite ((Ce,Ca,Y)2(Al,Fe)3(SiO4)3(OH)). Rare metal indicator minerals can be added to the expanding list of indicator minerals that can be recovered from surficial sediments and used to explore for a broad range of deposit types and commodities that already include diamonds and precious, base, and strategic metals.
Rare metal indicator minerals in bedrock and till at the Strange Lake peralkaline complex, Quebec and Labrador, Canada
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M.B. McClenaghan, R.C. Paulen, I.M. Kjarsgaard; Rare metal indicator minerals in bedrock and till at the Strange Lake peralkaline complex, Quebec and Labrador, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences ; 56 (8): 857–869. doi: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjes-2018-0299
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