The Mercer Clay in Pennsylvania as a Polymetallic Mineral Resource: Review and Update

The Mercer Clay bed in central Pennsylvania has produced feedstocks for the refractory industry in the USA and has also been investigated as a source of alumina and lithium. Developments in global markets for these commodities, as well as rare earth elements, have led to their classification as critical minerals in the USA, in turn renewing production opportunities for the Mercer Clay resource. The work reported here includes a review of the clay types and minerals involved, as well as past mineral processing and extractive metallurgy test work, and reports new research results from renewed investigation of the deposit as a polymetallic resource. This renewed work has found lithium contents that exceed 1,000 ppm, lying directly below the overlying Mercer coal, where the alumina content ranged from 32 to 34 wt%. Total rare earth concentrations were somewhat lower than have been found elsewhere in the region, and the highest contents were also found to be stratigraphically close to the coal. Further work is required to establish the mineral hosts for lithium and rare earths and to define the extent of enriched alumina, lithium, and rare earth concentrations.

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Work Title The Mercer Clay in Pennsylvania as a Polymetallic Mineral Resource: Review and Update
Access
Open Access
Creators
  1. Peter L Rozelle
  2. Maureen Feineman
  3. Timothy White
  4. Lee Kump
  5. Sarma Pisupati
  6. Nicolas Crescenzo
  7. Alan Larson
Keyword
  1. Mercer Clay
  2. Lithium Resources
  3. Rare Earth Elements
  4. Metallurgy
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
Acknowledgments
  1. Work reported here has been conducted by the Penn State University Center for Critical Minerals. Safiya Alpheus and Victor Garcia collected samples and conducted X-ray diffraction analyses.
Publisher
  1. Springer
Publication Date 2021
Language
  1. English
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-021-00452-5
Deposited November 29, 2021

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Version 1
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  • Created
  • Updated Acknowledgments Show Changes
    Acknowledgments
    • Work reported here has been conducted by the Penn State University Center for Critical Minerals. Safiya Alpheus and Victor Garcia collected samples and conducted X-ray diffraction analyses.
  • Added Creator Peter L Rozelle
  • Added Creator Maureen Feineman
  • Added Creator Timothy White
  • Added Creator Lee Kump
  • Added Creator Sarma Pisupati
  • Added Final Accepted Manuscript_MMEX_2021.docx
  • Updated License Show Changes
    License
    • https://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/
  • Published
  • Added Creator Nicolas Crescenzo
  • Added Creator Alan Larson
  • Updated Keyword Show Changes
    Keyword
    • Mercer Clay, Lithium Resources, Rare Earth Elements, Metallurgy
  • Updated