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Electronic Metals in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

Due to industrial development and requirements of eco-innovation there is increasing demand for rare and electronic elements such as Li, Cs, Ta, Rare Earth Elements, Platinum Group Elements, Co, Cd, In, Bi, W. Many of these, especially Ta as one key element in the electronic industry, are abundant in pegmatite deposits.

The Borborema Province (Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil) hosts more than 700 Ta-Li-Be-Sn-Pegmatite occurrences. While the petrology, genetic constraints, formation ages and mineral resources in general are described a systematic evaluation of the rare and electronic metal potential is missing. It is the aim of this study to compile available information on geology and occurrence of pegmatite bodies from geological maps, publications and remote sensing. On the basis of this study a database will be established and about 20 representative occurrences will be selected for further detailed work. If necessary, topographical and geological mapping will be carried out in the field by the Brasilian and German partners. These occurrences will be sampled at about 300 points. Their mineralogy and chemical composition will be analysed, mineral fractions will be separated. Geological, petrographic and geochemical characteristics will be lined out using polarizing microscope, electron microprobe, X-ray fluorescence, ICP optical emission spectroscopy, Laser ablation ICP mass spectrometry and X-ray diffractometry

In cooperation with Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, RN, Brazil, Prof. Dr. R.A. Petta

Project start: March 2009