monazite

[mon-uh-zahyt]
noun
a reddish- or yellowish-brown mineral, a phosphate of cerium and lanthanum, (Ce,La)PO 4 : the principal ore of thorium.

Origin:
1830–40; < German Monazit, equivalent to monaz- (< Greek monázein to be alone; see mon-) + -it -ite1

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World English Dictionary
monazite (ˈmɒnəˌzaɪt)
 
n
a yellow to reddish-brown mineral consisting of a phosphate of thorium, cerium, and lanthanum in monoclinic crystalline form
 
[C19: from German, from Greek monazein to live alone, so called because of its rarity]

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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
monazite   (mŏn'ə-zīt')  Pronunciation Key 
A yellow or reddish-brown monoclinic mineral that is a principal ore of several lanthanide (rare-earth) elements. It occurs as tabular crystals in pegmatites, granites, and metamorphic rocks, as well as in sand. Chemical formula: (Ce, La, Nd, Th)PO4.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

monazite

phosphate mineral, cerium and lanthanum phosphate [(Ce, La)PO4], that is the major commercial source of cerium. Occurring as small, brown, resinous, rather heavy crystals in granitic and gneissic rocks and their detritus (called monazite sands), monazite frequently contains 10-12 percent thorium dioxide (ThO2) and thus represents a major commercial source of thorium as well. Monazite is mined in Brazil, Norway, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, India, and North Carolina. For detailed physical properties, see phosphate mineral (table)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Recoverable concentrations can be found in several minerals, such as bastnaesite and monazite.
Without demand for the rare earths, monazite would probably not be recovered for its thorium content.
Gadolinium is found in several other minerals, including monazite and bastnasite, both of which are commercially important.
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