Potential Enrichment of Scandium in Bauxite Deposit for the Emerging Green Technology Needs

Adinda Ramadhani Haka Putri, Lucas Donny Setijadji, Dedi Sunjaya


Scandium (Sc) becomes one of critical raw materials as principal uses are now in the production of scandium-aluminum alloys and also in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs). Scarcity of scandium resources has led the urgency to discover new potential sources of scandium to meet the supply and demand. One of the possible sources of scandium is from bauxite deposit. Tayan area is part of West Kalimantan laterite belt with the potency for scandium resources in Indonesia as a result of the altered granitoid rocks, namely bauxite. This study presents integrated geological and modes of occurrences study to elucidate the potential enrichment of scandium in the study area including through several laboratory analyses: petrography, XRD, XRF, ICP-MS, and SEM-BSE-EDS. Our study concludes that the concretion textures of bauxite samples are dominated by Fe and Al oxide-hydroxide. The ore is composed of gibbsite and goethite. The result of scandium concentration analysis is equal to 50.9 ppm. Systematic SEM–EDS mapping confirms the presence of scandium as mainly from substitution of Fe3+ and Al3+ by Sc3+. Sc is hosted in goethite, where Sc3+substitutes Fe3+ in goethite crystal lattice. Sc3+ also substitutes Al3+ in gibbsite crystal lattice. Understanding the enrichment in which scandium occurs in bauxite deposit will hopefully open the new possibility to meet the needs for critical materials for green technology development.

Full Text:



Anand, R. R., Paine, M., (2002) “Regolith geology of the Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia: Implications for exploration”, Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, 49, pp. 3-162.

Duyvesteyn, W. P. C. and Putnam, G., (2014) “Scan¬dium: A review of the element, its character-istic, and current and emerging commercial application”, EMC Metal Corporation White Paper, pp. 12.

European Commission, (2017) “Study on the review of the list of Critical Raw Materials Criticality Assessments, Luxembourg”, Publications Office of the European Union, pp. 93.

Hindarto, A., Sunjaya, D., Semedie T., Sutopo, B., and Subandrio, A. S., (2019) “Utilization of geological research data and exploration grade distribution in preparation of detailed geological maps and ore characteristics distribution at the Tayan bauxite mine”, MGEI Proceedings: Unlocking Concealed and Complex Deposits, pp.100-103.

Horovitz, C. T., (1975) Scandium: Its Occurrence, Chemistry, Physics, Metallurgy, Biology, And Technology, [extensive bibliography for each chapter], Academic Press, pp. 489.

Maulana, A., Sanematsu, K., and Sakakibara, M., (2016) “An Overview on the Possibility of Scandium and REE Occurrence in Sulawesi, Indonesia”, Indonesian Journal on Geoscience, 3(2), pp. 139-147, DOI: 10.17014/ijog.3.2.139-147.

Maulana, A., Sufriadin, Sanematsu, K. and Sakakibara, M., (2019) “Study on Sc-bearing Lateritic Ni deposits in Ultramafic Rock from Sulawesi: A New Paradigm in Indonesia Metal Mining Industry”, In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 676(1), pp. 012032, IOP Publishing.

Shaoquan, X. and Suqing, L., (1996) “Review of the extractive metallurgy of scandium in China (1978–1991)”, Hydrometallurgy, 42(3), pp.337-343. DOI: 10.1016/0304-386X(95)00086-V.

Singhal, Subhash C and Kendall K., (2003) High Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Fundamentals, Design, and Applications, UK: Elsevier Publishing Company, pp. 430.

Sunjaya, D., Sahri, A. A. and Widyastuti, M., (2019a) “Potential source of rare earth element (REE) from bauxite laterite in Tayan mining site, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Yogyakarta”, Proceedings Joint Convention Yogyakarta 2019, HAGI – IAGI – IAFMI- IATMI (Jcy 2019).

Sunjaya, D., Nugraheni, R. D., Sahri, A.A. Widyastuti, M. and Hindarto, A., (2019b) “Mineral classification of bauxite laterite in Tayan mining site, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Yogyakarta”, Proceedings Joint Convention Yogyakarta 2019, HAGI – IAGI – IAFMI- IATMI (Jcy 2019).

Surata, M., Suksiano, O., Pratomo, M. and Supriyadi, (2010) “Discovery and its genetic relationship of bauxite deposit in Mempawah and Landak regency, West Kalimantan Province”, In Proceeding of Kalimantan Coal and Mineral Resources Seminar, pp. 107-116.

Swamidharma, Y. C. A., (2020) “Critical Raw Materials (Personal Perspective in Exploration Activity)”, IAGI Webinar. Online.

Valeton, I, (1972) Bauxites: Development in Soil Science, Vol. 1, Elsevier Publishing Company, London, pp. 218.

Vind, J., Malfliet, A., Bonomi, C., Paiste, P., Sajó, I. E., Blanpain, B., Tkaczyk, A. H., Vassiliadou, V. and Panias, D., (2018) “Modes of occurrences of scandium in Greek bauxite and bauxite residue”, Minerals Engineering, 123, pp. 35-48, DOI: 10.1016/j.mineng.2018.04.025

Walters, A. S., and Lusty, P., (2011) “Rare Earth Elements: British Geological Survey commodity profile”, Natural Environment and Research Council, Nottingham.

Wulansari, D., Setijadji, L. D., and Warmada, I. W., (2016) “Karakterisasi kandungan mineral dalam bauksit dengan metode xrd semi-kuantitatif di kawasan tambang tayan, Kalimantan Barat”, Proceedings Seminar Nasional Kebumian Ke-9, pp. 612-623.

Zhou, B., Li, Z. and Chen, C., (2017) “Global potential of rare earth resources and rare earth demand from clean technologies”, Minerals, 7(11), pp. 203. DOI:10.3390/min7110203.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.51835/ijeg.2021.1.1.343


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Indonesian Journal of Economic Geology (IJEG)



SOHO Pancoran unit S-1817

Jl. Letjen M.T. Haryono No.Kav. 2-3, RT.1/RW.6, Tebet Barat, Kec. Tebet, Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12810.

E-mail: ijeg.mgei@iagi.or.id