Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Global rare earth element occurrence database

February 23, 2022

This spatial database "usgs_Global_REE.gdb" was created for use in a geographic information system (GIS) to support research on global rare earth deposits and occurrences by the U.S. Geological Survey. This inventory documents the geologic occurrence of rare earths, including mineralogy, type of deposit or occurrence, host rocks and alteration, and any quantitative data related to size and grade from publicly available data. Rare earths, as used in this report, includes the chemically similar lanthanide group of elements, as well as yttrium. Databases that summarize the distribution of known occurrences and their geologic setting are an integral part of a geologically-based evaluation of undiscovered mineral resources. The distribution of known occurrences allows us to understand the factors that control their distributions, the degree of variation within deposit types, and, through the use of analogy, to forecast areas where similar deposits and occurrences may occur. The geodatabase contains more than 3100 records with latitudes and longitudes and more than 800 records without plottable locations. Spatial and descriptive data for 3100 rare earth deposits and occurrences around the world are stored in the rare earth geodatabase feature class "Global_REE" for use in a geographic information system (GIS). In addition, 820 deposits and occurrences for which no location was found or determined are stored in a geodatabase table "Global_REE_nonspatial_table" and the over 1590 references are stored in a geodatabase table "All_Global_REE_references" which were used to compile these data. The databases of rare earth deposits and occurrences provides descriptive information where available on mineralogy, host and associated rocks and ages, alteration, sizes and grades of resources and production, and references; the data in the spatial database include location.