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Rare Earth Element Occurrences in the United States

Metadata Updated: July 6, 2024

Version 4.0 of this data release provides descriptions of more than 200 mineral districts, mines, and mineral occurrences (deposits, prospects, and showings) within the United States that are reported to contain substantial enrichments of the rare earth elements (REEs). These mineral occurrences include mined deposits, exploration prospects, and other occurrences with notable concentrations of the REEs. The inclusion of a particular mineral occurrence in this database is not meant to imply that it has economic potential. Rather, these occurrences were included to capture the distribution and characteristics of the known, reported REEs deposits in the United States, which are diverse in their geology and resource potential. Concentrated, mineable deposits of the REEs are rare, such that most of the sites within this data release are for unmined locations where the published information may not contain thorough descriptions (Van Gosen and others, 2014). Therefore, decisions had to be made by the authors regarding the addition or exclusion of specific REE occurrences in the dataset, based principally on the available descriptions of the REE concentrations and the apparent size of the mineralized body. The level of detail of this type of information varied widely amongst the occurrences, ranging from general descriptions to detailed sampling and analysis of some deposits. The entries and descriptions in the database were derived from published papers, reports, data, and internet documents representing a variety of sources, including geologic and exploration studies described in State, Federal, and industry reports. Although an attempt was made to capture as many examples as possible, this dataset is a progress report that is part of an ongoing effort. The authors welcome additional published information in order to continually update and refine this dataset. In addition to the conventional resources described in this report, every year approximately 56,000 metric tons of REEs are mined, beneficiated, and put into solution, but not recovered, by operations associated with the global phosphate fertilizer industry (Emsbo and others, 2015, 2016). As indicated by Emsbo and others (2015, 2016), recovery of byproduct REEs from the phosphate industry has the potential to substantially increase the supply of REEs to the market. The significant increases in applications and demands for REEs has led to an increased interest in identifying new sources that include extraction not only from mineral deposits, but also the potential for REE extraction from coal-based resources, and recycling of products containing REEs. The Department of Energy is currently (2019) evaluating technologies to recover REEs and other critical minerals from coal and coal-based resources (https://www.netl.doe.gov/coal/rare-earth-elements). Recycling efforts have focused on recovering REEs from light bulbs and electronics. The dataset provided in this data release is restricted to non-fuel, REE-bearing mineral deposits and does not include energy resources (such as coal). Van Gosen, B.S., Verplanck, P.L., Long, K.R., Gambogi, Joseph, and Seal, R.R., II, 2014, The rare-earth elements—Vital to modern technologies and lifestyles: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2014–3078, 4 p., https://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20143078. Emsbo, Poul, McLaughlin, P.I., Breit, G.N., du Bray, E.A., and Koenig, A.E., 2015, Rare earth elements in sedimentary phosphate deposits—Solution to the global REE crisis?: Gondwana Research, v. 27, p. 776–785, accessed March 13, 2019, at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2014.10.008. Emsbo, Poul, McLaughlin, P.I., du Bray, E.A., Anderson, E.D., Vandenbroucke, T.R.A., and Zielinski, 2016, Rare earth elements in sedimentary phosphorite deposits—A global assessment, chap. 5 of Verplanck, P.L, and Hitzman, M.W., eds., Rare earth and critical elements in ore deposits: Reviews in Economic Geology, v. 18, p. 101–114, accessed March 13, 2019, at https://www.segweb.org/store/detail.aspx?id=EDOCREV18.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Dates

Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date July 6, 2024

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date July 6, 2024
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Maintainer
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Identifier USGS:5a133f8ae4b09fc93dce6552
Data Last Modified 20200821
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:12
Metadata Context https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema/catalog.jsonld
Metadata Catalog ID https://datainventory.doi.gov/data.json
Schema Version https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema
Catalog Describedby https://project-open-data.cio.gov/v1.1/schema/catalog.json
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Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -162.91886276,27.638399615,-73.452801511,69.529824019
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > U.S. Geological Survey
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 3fa3d44aafb9537f91343afa57fe3c8a6b8a9f5ae591200147345c8c32148f31
Source Schema Version 1.1
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