The US is dependent on foreign imports of placer heavy minerals for a majority of its ilmenite and rutile, and virtually all of its monazite requirements. Although sand deposits in the SE US are important domestic sources of these heavy minerals (HM) and a number of other less well-known heavy-mineral species, global onshore reserves of placer minerals may fall short of demand in as few as 20 years. Insofar as they are important commodities for the future, offshore HM placers will become more important, but much research on them remains to be done. Results of recent offshore studies, based on surficial grab samples, indicate an average of about 2 weight percent HM in surficial Atlantic Continental Shelf (ACS) sediments, in strong contrast with previous estimates of an average of 0.16% HM. Although provocative, the information from these grab samples does not include the thickness of the HM deposits and thus their volume and tonnage cannot be estimated.-from Author
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Nature and distribution of potential heavy-mineral resources offshore of the Atlantic Coast of the United States.