Current Research - WSGS REE Investigation

The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) completed an investigation and report in June 2013 on the state’s rare earth elements (REE). The full-color report titled “Rare Earth Elements in Wyoming” includes maps and analyses, as well as an online database and interactive map of the sample sites.

WSGS geologists collected 289 samples from known, potential host rocks of REE and other minerals, and analyzed these along with another 67 that were previously collected. The samples were then sent to a lab and analyzed for REE and other potential economic metals or elements.

This project is the result of the Wyoming Legislature’s 2012 allocation of $200,000 from Abandon Mine Lands Reclamation (AML) funds to support this research. The investigation involved extensive field and research work – from sampling and mapping rare earth locations, to measuring and recording their abundances.

With this study the WSGS has confirmed that REE occur in a variety of geologic settings across Wyoming. Knowledge of REE is the first step in the process of commercial exploration. Information presented from this WSGS Mineral Investigation could lead to exploration and the discovery of new deposits of REE and other economic deposits in the state.

Geologist Wayne Sutherland with a view of Saddle Rock in the Rattlesnake Hills, a volcanic plug made up of quartz latite of Eocene age. WSGS photo by Suzanne Luhr.
Geologist Wayne Sutherland in the Rattlesnake Hills with a view of
Saddle Rock, a volcanic plug made up of quartz latite of Eocene age.
WSGS photo by Suzanne Luhr.


Contact:
Wayne Sutherland
wayne.sutherland@wyo.gov
(307) 766-2286 Ext. 247