This chapter is related with the preliminary study of some non-metallic minerals to evaluate their cationic exchange capacity, to remove heavy and precious metals, as well as rare earths elements. The minerals and materials used to execute the ion metals removal were bentonite, phosphorite, and diatomite. The chapter shows the physicochemical behavior of all these minerals, which were used to remove the mentioned elements from solutions coming from ore leaching. It was found that in all cases, the removal of heavy and precious metals, as well as rare earths elements reached over 90%. Although, there were minimal differences in efficiency for all minerals used (bentonite, phosphorite, and diatomite), it could be pointed that the phosphorite has the best results going from 99.43% of removal of Gd, to 99.95–100% for the case of Ce, Nd, La, Yb, Eu, Er, Sm, Tb, Ge, Pd, Pt, and Au.
Part of the book: Trace Metals in the Environment