“A New Look at the Occurrences of the Rare Earth Metals in the Georgia Kaolins”, SME GA Section Meet

When:  Oct 19, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (ET)
Associated with  Georgia

Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Georgia Section Meeting Notice


A meeting of the SME Georgia Section will be held on October 19, 2017 in the University Banquet Room (Presidential Dining Room located next to the MAX) at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia. 


Meeting Agenda


6:00 PM - 7:00 PM      Reception


      6:45 PM - 6:50 PM      Environmental Issues Forum -- moderated by Dr. Sal Romero (Senior Geotechnical Engineer, Golder Associates Inc.).


6:50 PM. - 7:00 PM    Business Meeting – Announcements for Georgia Section SME.


7:00 PM - 7:30 PM    Dinner Served – Crispy Sautéed Breast of chicken with a lemon, white wine & fresh parsley. Includes a Market House Salad with croutons and balsamic vinaigrette, wild-rice pilaf, chef’s choice of seasonal vegetable, sweet yeast Rolls and Butter, bourbon apple trifle, Fresh Brewed Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, Herbal and Non-Herbal Numi Teas with Hot Water and Freshly Brewed Iced Tea.


7:30 PM - 8:30 pm    Speaker: Dr. Crawford Elliott, Professor of Geology, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.

A New Look at the Occurrences of the Rare Earth Metals in the Georgia Kaolins”

Abstract: “Rare earth elements (REEs) are a particularly important group of critical minerals. Although these minerals are moderately abundant in Earth’s crust, they are distributed diffusely and thus difficult to extract in large quantities. There are 17 REEs, including the lanthanide elements (atomic numbers 57 through 71 on the periodic table), scandium, and yttrium. Light REES (LREEs) consist of elements 57 through 64, and heavy REEs (HREEs) consist of elements 65 - 71.  REEs have a variety of uses, including components in cell phones, energy efficient lighting, magnets, hybrid vehicle batteries, and catalysts for automobiles and petroleum refining.  The REEs terbium, neodymium, and dysprosium are key components of the magnets used in wind turbine gearboxes.  In 2015, China controlled 85% of REE production, while the U.S. was almost fully reliant on REE imports. No readily available substitute exists for most REEs.  Excess supply of REEs, due to illegal production, caused pricing to decline significantly in 2015.  The U.S. has decreased REE production in recent years, from 5,400 tonnes in 2014 to 4,100 tonnes in 2015. U.S. REE reserves are estimated at 1.8 million tonnes.  In comparison, China produced 105,000 tonnes of REEs in both 2014 and 2015 and possesses reserves estimated at 55 million tonnes. Australia and Russia are making significant strides in REE extraction but remain far below China’s production capacity.” -  Center for Sustainable Systems, University of Michigan. 2016. “Critical Materials Factsheet.” Pub. No. CSS14-15.


The Factsheet above shows the critical need for developing REE resources in the USA.  Could kaolins play a role in meeting this need?  Dr. Elliott will present some of Georgia State’s researchers’ work in this area and give his insight into REE production in Georgia.

About the Speaker: Dr. Elliott is currently in his 23rd year of teaching at GSU.  He served as Chair of Geosciences from 2007-2013.  During that time, he led the consolidation of geology and geography disciplines forming Geosciences.  Geosciences grew both in students, faculty members and extramural support for research during that time.  Elliott has been funded by US DOE (both Basic Energy Sciences and Biological and Environmental Research) since Y2K.  In addition to the recent work on REE, he, students and colleagues have done considerable work understanding the sorption of Cs by muscovite, illite and related phases.  He is also collaborating with colleagues from Turkey to understand the genesis of bentonites in the Anatolia region.  He is also working with Doug Elmore and colleagues to apply beam line techniques to understand the evolution of porosity in shales.   He and Prof. Marion Wampler operate a K-Ar geochronology laboratory at GSU - perhaps the only operating K-Ar lab currently in the US. 


He received his Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Case Western Reserve University.   His dissertation addressed the kinetics of the smectite to illite transformation.


Location: The Presidential Dining Room is on the upper floor of the Maxwell Student Union located at corner of N. Clarke Street and W. Hancock Street on the campus of Georgia College & State University.  The entrance is on the Hancock St. side of the building.  See http://www.gcsu.edu/campus for a GC&SU campus map.


From Atlanta Take 1-20 East to Exit 114 (Madison). Turn right onto Highway 441 South. Follow Highway 441 South to Milledgeville (about 45 miles). Entering Milledgeville, continue straight so that you follow the business section of Hwy. 441 to Montgomery Street. Turn left.  Drive one block and turn right onto Clark Street.  Continue to the 1st stop light which is Hancock Street.  The Maxwell Student Union is on the left.


Note:  The cost for both members and guests is $30 per person.  The cost for Students is $20.  Those interested in attending please mail or fax, (478) 552-4105, their registration to Tom Hilderbrand (tom.hilderbrand@thielekaolin.com; 478-552-3951, ext. 1237).  Please make checks payable to SME Georgia Section.  Complete and return this form and payment to:  SME Georgia Section, P.O. Box 1056, Sandersville, GA  31082 or RSVP by no later than October 17, 2017


Please keep your SME Georgia Section membership current.  You can pay for dues, meeting registrations, and donations online through a service known as Square Up. We now have an online store set up for making credit card payments.  Please follow this link to make safe, secure transactions:  https://squareup.com/store/sme-ga-section


You may also pay by cash, check, or credit card at the door.


Name(s) of Attendees:

Number of Meals              (regular meals/vegetarian meals)                                               ____/_____


Total Amount Enclosed                                                                                             ___________


Georgia College & State University, Presidential Dining Room
231 W. Hancock St.
Milledgeville, GA 31061
Event Image


Tom Hilderbrand
478-552-3951 x 1237