Rare Earth Elements, REE Facts, ProEdge Media Corp., InvestorIntel
Samarium, Light Rare Earth Elements, LREE, REE Facts, ProEdge Media Corp., InvestorIntel
REE Facts | HREE Facts | LREE Facts | Rare Metal Resource
LREE : 57 Lanthanum | 58 Cerium | 59 Praseodymium | 60 Neodymium | 61 Promethium | 62 Samarium | 63 Europium | 64 Gadolinium
HREE : 65 Terbium | 66 Dysprosium | 67 Holmium | 68 Erbium | 69 Thulium | 70 Ytterbium | 71 Lutetium | 39 Yttrium
Samarium, Light Rare Earth Elements, LREE, REE Facts, ProEdge Media Corp., InvestorIntel
Facts about the Light Rare Earth Element Samarium
Tracy Weslosky, Editor, InvestorIntel
Source: REE Handbook

Samarium, REE Collection, ProEdge Media Corp. Did you know that samarium (Sm 62) was the first element to be named after a person?

French chemist Paul Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran in 1879, working from a laboratory on the second floor of his home; discovered not only a new element hiding within the mineral, but would latter discover two more. Named after a Russian mining engineer V.E. Samarsky-Bukjovets for granting access to the Russian mineral samples, Paul Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran discovered samarium when he added ammonium hydroxide to a concentrate prepared from the mineral samarskite.

Interesting fact? Based on samarium cobalt magnets, Sony introduced the TPS-L2 Walkman, the first portable audio cassette player in 1979. This was beginning the era of personal music listening, which evolved into DVD players and then MP3 players.

Today, the samarium isotope, Sm-153, is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis of the knee and other joints. The isotope's beta emissions penetrate the synovium (soft tissue) of the joints to about 2.5 millimeters and have a short half-life.

Intriguingly, samarium chloride taken internally in the proper quantity will combine with alcohol and keep you from becoming drunk.

Samarium, a silvery-yellow lustrous metal that tarnishes in air; will ignite in air at about 150 °C and is relatively hard and brittle. Natural occurring samarium contains 7 isotopes, with 3 being unstable with long half-lives.

Applications are numerous, for instance samarium-cobalt permanent magnets are used in many defense applications including servo-motors to adjust the flight control surfaces (fins) on missiles. High-strength samarium cobalt magnets allowed the miniaturization of hundreds of applications in the 1970s including computer disk drives, headphones, cassette tape players, boom boxes, and speakers. Fender manufactures single coil noiseless (no background hum) guitar pickups using samarium cobalt magnets. And samarium X-ray lasers have applications in radiography.

A light rare earth element (LREE), samarium is mined from a variety of ore minerals and deposits using various methods. Bastnäsite is mined in the United States as a primary product from a hard-rock carbonatite and is mined via bench-cut open pit methods. Ore is drilled and blasted, loaded into trucks by loaders, and hauled to the mill. At the mill the blasted ore is crushed, screened, and processed by flotation to produce a bastnäsite concentrate. In China, bastnäsite and lesser amounts of associated monazite are also mined from a carbonatite. The ore is recovered as a byproduct of iron ore mining by hard-rock open pit methods. After crushing the ore is separated from the iron ore by flotation to produce a bastnäsite concentrate and a bastnäsite-monazite concentrate.

Large resources of samarium are contained in LREE-enriched minerals. Samarium occurs in the Earth's crust at an average concentration of 6 parts per million. The primary source of samarium is from carbonatites and the LREE-mineral bastnäsite. Bastnäsite deposits in China and the United States constitute the largest percentage of the world's rare-earth economic resources. Samarium is also a constituent in the LREE-mineral monazite which constitutes the second largest segment of rare-earth resources. Monazite deposits are located in Australia, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the United States in paleoplacer and recent placer deposits, sedimentary deposits, veins, pegmatites, carbonatites, and alkaline complexes. Samarium sourced from the LREE-mineral loparite is recovered from a large alkali igneous intrusion in Russia (Special thanks, James Hedrick, www.REEHandbook.com).

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