What is The Sea Beach Placer?
Beach placer deposits are secondary enriched deposits formed by the accumulation of heavy mineral debris in the coastal zone by the action of rivers, waves, tides, and currents. It mainly comprises rutile, tantalite, magnetite, xenotime, gold, iron, diamond, quartz, coal, and other minerals.
The abundant seabed mineral resources include beach placer, manganese nodules, and seabed hydrothermal ore. Among them, beach placer deposits are widely distributed in coastal areas and continental shelves of coastal countries. There are dozens of proven beach sand minerals in the world, such as gold, platinum, tin, hafnium, titanium, zirconium, and diamond.
More than 40 countries are engaged in exploring and mining beach sand. For example, the United States mines ilmenite, zircon ore, and gold placer ore from the seashore; Sri Lanka mines seaside tin ore mines; Australian zircon and rutile production mined from the seashore placer account for 60% and 90% of the total world output respectively.
What Are Beach Sand Minerals?
Main types of minerals:
- Metallic minerals, ilmenite, rutile, zircon, magnetite (titanium magnetite);
- Rare metal minerals like cassiterite and niobium tantalite;
- Rare-earth minerals like monazite and xenotime;
- Precious metal minerals like placer gold, diamond, silver, and platinum;
- Non-metallic minerals like quartz sand, shells, amber, etc.
The sea beach sand minerals have great economic value and industry, national defense, and high technology application value.
Beach Placer Deposit Distribution in The World
- The U.S. Northwest Pacific Ocean —— ilmenite, chromite, and zircon;
- Australia and New Zealand —— rutile, zircon, monazite, and ilmenite;
- Southwest Africa —— Diamond placer deposit, associated with gold, platinum, chromite, etc.;
- South southeast Asia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia —— placer tin deposit;
- India, Sri Lanka —— rutile, zircon, monazite, ilmenite, rare metal;
- Northwest Pacific coast, especially the Japanese archipelago —— magnetite.