An Electron Microprobe Study of Yttrium, Rare Earth, and Phosphorus Distribution in Zoned and Ordinary Zircon.
Romans-PA; Brown-LL; White-JC
Am Miner 1975 Jun; 60:475-480
Zircon concentrates from three commercial ore deposits were examined in an electron microprobe in research conducted by the Bureau of Mines. An appreciable fraction of the yttrium, rare-earths, and phosphorus are in solid solution in natural zircon, and only part of these impurities can be removed from zircon concentrates by mineral dressing techniques. However, in deposits where monazite or xenotime grains are more prevalent, the impurity reduction would be more significant, and perhaps secondary products of marketable value could be obtained. In regard to xenotime substitution in zircon, apparently the most stable form of the crystal structure occurs when there is a deficiency of silicon and an excess of phosphorus, and one or more additional elements are present.
Am. Miner., V. 60, June 1975, PP. 475-480