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New minerals containing rare earth elements found in Sokli

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Sokli and Geological Survey of Finland have identified two new minerals, kukharenkoite and cordylite, through mineralogical characterisation. This is the first time that these minerals have been discovered in Finland. The goal of the recently completed analysis work was to chart the occurrence of rare earth elements (REE) in minerals.

“Now we have a better picture of the occurrence of REE-bearing minerals in the different ore types found in Sokli. The findings will be used in future geological surveys and modelling in Sokli and the testing of ore processing, which serves as basis for mineral resource estimation and mine planning and design. The analysis work has scientific value as well, and we have worked in close co-operation with both Finnish and international research partners,” says Project Geologist Teo Lehto.

The new minerals were identified by analysing drill core sections collected from Sokli. Drilling is also currently taking place in areas where the new minerals are known to occur.

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REE needed for the electrification of transport and increasing the use of renewable energy

Sokli is the world’s largest carbonatite deposit. According to the results of our scoping study, Sokli could produce at least 10% of the amount of REE needed annually in Europe to make permanent magnets.

“It’s great to achieve the expected results from our comprehensive, long-term study. These findings are another step towards achieving our goal of exploiting this unique mineral deposit in safeguarding the raw materials self-sufficiency of Europe. The Western world’s business opportunities associated with REE are growing, and the production of magnets is among the key ways of advancing the use of renewable energy and the electrification of transport,” says Project Director Pasi Heino.

“The scoping study presented a great opportunity for Geological Survey of Finland to perform mineralogical analysis of this significant deposit. The results were achieved by a large group of researchers through mixed method research in which each work phase requires significant expertise in the field. We rarely get to work with such fascinating and challenging samples, or to study the distribution of these economically important metals in various REE-bearing minerals so comprehensively,” says Senior Specialist at Geological Survey of Finland Esa Pohjolainen.

Mineralogical characterisation and testing of ore processing will also continue this winter and during 2024.

 

Source: Finnish Minerals Group

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