monazite (mŏnˈəzĪt) [key], yellow to reddish-brown natural phosphate of the rare earths, mainly the cerium and lanthanum metals, usually with some thorium. Yttrium, calcium, iron, and silica are frequently present. Monazite sand is the crude natural material and is usually purified from other minerals before entering commerce. Monazite occurs in North Carolina, South Carolina, Idaho, Colorado, Montana, and Florida in the United States, and in Brazil, India, Australia, and South Africa. It is an important source of cerium, thorium, and other rare-earth metals and compounds.
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