Monazite is a reddish-brown phosphate mineral containing rare earth metals. It occurs usually in small isolated crystals. There are at least four different kinds of monazite, depending on relative elemental composition of the mineral: monazite-Ce (Ce, La, Pr, Nd, Th, Y)PO4 monazite-La (La, Ce, Nd, Pr)PO4 monazite-Nd (Nd, La, Ce, Pr)PO4 monazite-Sm (Sm, Gd, Ce, Th)PO4The elements in parentheses are listed in the order in which they are in relative proportion within the mineral, so that lanthanum is the most common rare earth in monazite-La, and so forth. Silica, SiO2, will be present in trace amounts, as well as small amounts of uranium and thorium.
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