Article Side

Online Article Directory!

Hello Guest! Login or Register to submit articles!

Bastnasite: Characteristics, Origin and Applications

By Judy Subscribe to RSS | November 25th 2011 | Views:

Learn more about the mineral called bastnasite - its characteristics, history, and uses and applications.

Part of the carbonate group of minerals is a rare earth metal (REM)-rich mineral called Bastnasite. Bastnasite is one of the leading sources of cerium, a rare earth metal with various applications in modern industries and technologies. It closely resembles parasite, another mineral with high rare earth mineral content; the two are known to alter easily back and forth between bastnasite to parisite and back depending on the presence of CaC03.


Bastnasite sometimes appears as a reddish brown or as a golden yellow mineral but is also found in other colors such as pale white, tan, gray, and brown, sometimes with white streaks present. It is a vitreous and greasy mineral, with its crystals appearing either translucent or opaque. It has a chemical formula of (Ce,La,Y)CO3F and falls under the 4 to 5 rating in the Mohls hardness scale.

Origin and History

Like other minerals, Bastnasite’s name lends a clue to its origin. A Swedish chemist, Wilhelm Hisinger, owned a mine near Riddarhytan, Vastermanland, Sweden. It was called Bastnas Mine, hence Basnasite’s name. Prior to describing and christening the mineral bastnasite in 1838, Hisinger already made discoveries from the mine, such as cerium (a rare earth mineral) in 1803, and lanthanum (another rare earth metal) in 1839, just a year after officially naming the mineral bastnasite.

Aside from Bastnasite, the Bastnas Mine also yielded minerals and chemical elements that were undiscovered until then. These discoveries were made by other known Swedish scientists at the time, such as Jons Jakob Berzelius and Carl Gustav Mosander, the man who discovered the rare earth metals Terbium, Yttrium, and Erbium.

Bastnasite has been found in Hungary, Greece, and Norway in Europe; Turkey, Mongolia, and Russia in Asia; and Canada and the United States in North America.

Uses and Applications

Bastnasite-(Ce) (what people usually have in mind when they say bastnasite) is mined for its rich cerium content. Along with monazite, a phosphate mineral, bastnasite is one of the two largest sources of the rare earth metal cerium. Cerium is used primarily as a chemical oxidizing agent and as fluid catalytic cracking catalyst used for oil refineries. Other uses of cerium include polishing powder and yellow pigment for use in ceramics and glass.

But cerium is not the only thing found in bastnasite. Aside from bastnasite-(Ce), there are also lanthanum-rich and yttrium-rich bastnasites. Bastnasite-(Y), the type that is rich in yttrium, is tapped for its predominant rare earth metal content. Yttrium has several uses in industries and technology, from yttrium vanadate (YVO4) used in high-temperature superconductors to yttrium iron garnet (YIG) microwave filters and yttrium-aluminum garnet (YAG) lasers. Bastnasite-(La), on the other hand, contains high levels of lanthanum, another rare earth metal with various applications. Lanthanum is a main component of camera lenses, battery electrodes, and hydrogen storage. It is particularly important in high refractive index glass and, like cerium, is used in oil refineries as a fluid catalytic cracking catalyst.

This article is brought to you by, a free resource for mining investors that serves as a showcase of public mining companies, including copper mining companies, silver mining companies and more. Suspicious bear gentle

Judy - About Author: is a free resource directory listing thousands of public mining companies, with a special emphasis on mining information.

Share on Facebook Tweet It Stumbleupon this post This post is delicious !

Article Source:

Related Business Articles Subscribe to RSS

The benefits of an excellent investing platform for easy foreign trade investing
Published by Angelo Harper on December 8th 2011 | Business
Whenever you happen to be yearning to show out to become an excellent foreign trade trader, then you...
Reap good returns by investing in beach rentals in Costa Rica
Published by Kristine on February 14th 2012 | Business
Costa Rica is a beautiful country with spectacular beaches, rainforests, waterfalls and ocean views....
Things to remember before investing in stocks
Published by Annphilip on February 9th 2012 | Business
The financial world is upside down. No one is able to predict what will happen next. As an experienc...
Real estate investing with mortgages for sale
Published by DANA BATES on May 12th 2012 | Business
This information is there to assist anyone who has plans to buy mortgages for sale. Simply follow th...
Features of Coal newsletters and Coking coal index
Published by Coalportal on January 31st 2012 | Business
Energy Publishing Australia, based in Brisbane, has won international recognition as publishers of l...
Creating a franchise business plan to evaluate investing in a franchise system
Published by Marcus Tarrant on July 11th 2012 | Business
Franchise businesses have a key advantage over exiting companies. They are usually franchising an ex...
Make a judicious move by investing in Mohali real estate
Published by Deepti on March 24th 2012 | Business
When it comes to making a speculation in real estate in both residential as well as commercial secto...
Real estate agents in Walsall lead you in investing property
Published by Redstones on January 21st 2012 | Business
Lettings franchise offered at Redstones letting agents, one of the leading estate agents in Walsall ...
Advantage of real estate investing-Ivan Larco
Published by Harry on February 7th 2012 | Business
Requirement is the mom of all technology. I had the requirement to buy the home and so I tried with ...