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Earth sphere cycling and enrichment mechanism of critical metals:major scientific issues for future research

Jiang Shao-Yong;Wen Hanjie;Xu Cheng;Wang Yan;Su Huimin;Sun Weidong;Collaborative Innovation Center for Exploration of Strategic Mineral Resources,State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources,Faculty of Earth Resources,China University of Geosciences;State Key Laboratory of Ore Deposit Geochemistry,Institute of Geochemistry,Chinese Academy of Sciences;University of Chinese Academy of Sciences;School of Earth and Space Sciences,Peking University;Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry,Chinese Academy of Sciences;Center of Deep Sea Research,Institute of Oceanology,Chinese Academy of Sciences;  
Critical Metals,including rare metals,rare earth elements(REE),rare disperse elements and other strategic metals,are driving some of the biggest advancement in the cutting-edge technology fields such as new materials,new energy,information technology,aeronautics and astronautics,and high-tech weapon industry.As demand for these materials explodes rapidly,we propose to carry out in-depth studies on the formation and enrichment mechanism,distribution regularity and mineral exploration of the critical metal deposits and the green usage of these metals.In this paper,the main scientific problems that should be paid attention to in the fundamental research of critical metal resources including:1)the study of the geochemical properties and behaviors of the critical metals,2)the study of the relationship between major geological events and the cycling of critical metals in different Earth spheres,and 3)the study of the extraordinary enrichment conditions of the critical metal elements and the ore deposits.According to the different properties of rare metals,dispersed metals,rare earth metals and other rare precious metals(such as platinum group elements,Chromium and Cobalt),this paper proposes the future research directions for each group of the critical metals.
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