Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Crawford Elliott

Second Advisor

Brian Meyer

Third Advisor

Hassan Babaie


The rare-earth elements (REE) are “critical metals” per the US DOE based on their widespread use and demand in many industrial technologies. Heavy mineral concentrates and mineral separates were isolated from the heavy mineral sands from Georgia coastal region. These separates and concentrates were studied via geochemical and mineralogical analyses. These heavy mineral sands contained the REE-bearing minerals monazite, and xenotime. The processed heavy mineral concentrates (REMS) contained up to 13 wt. % total REE. These processed heavy mineral sands were enriched in the light rare-earth elements (Sc, La-Eu; LREE). The LREE were found in monazite. The heavy rare-earth elements (Y, Gd-Lu; HREE) were found in xenotime and zircon. There were also enrichments in Sc, actinides (Th and U), and some critical elements (Bi and Nb) relative to their concentrations in the Upper Continental Crust. These sands are one of two sources of REE being mined in the United States.


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