Fund Professor Van Autenboer: Time specific Rare Earth Elements (REE) enrichments in Paleozoic phosphorites: linking Sedex brine expulsions, biochemorstatigraphic signatures, palaeo-redox proxies and novel REE ores

28 June 2018 → 31 December 2022
Funding by bilateral agreement (private and foundations)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Archaeology not elsewhere classified
  • Natural sciences
    • Biogeochemistry
    • Exploration geochemistry
    • Geoarchaeology
    • Geochronology
    • Mineralogy and crystallography
    • Petrology
    • Stratigraphy
    • Geology not elsewhere classified
    • Palaeoclimatology
    • Other earth sciences not elsewhere classified
    • Palaeontology
    • Natural resource management
    • Soil sciences, challenges and pollution not elsewhere classified
  • Engineering and technology
    • Other engineering and technology not elsewhere classified
Rare Earth Elements (REE)
Project description

Pioneer research of this project’s supervisory team (Emsbo et al. 2015, 2016) demonstrated the unrealized potential of phosphorites from the Upper Ordovician Maquoketa Group (central USA) as stratabound Rare Earth Element (REE) ores, dwarfing the economic potential of the deposits that are currently mined for these resources. In addition, the REEs can be beneficiated in a much more environmentally friendly manner. However, our understanding of the extent, formation and potential exploration of the Maquoketa Group is critically hamstrung by significant uncertainties about its geology. This project will solve standing questions on this unit’s precise stratigraphical position and architecture, in order to understand its formation, context & age, and to accurately map the full extent & volume of its REEphosphateresources. Rooted in this case study, ultimately, our research will help track and target similar REEphosphatedeposits across the globe.