Exploration, metallogenesis, management and environments of ion-adsorption type rare earth element (REE) deposits in South China have been investigated, and certain advances have been made since 2011. A breakthrough of REE prospecting in Zhejiang, Fujian, Yunnan and Jiangxi etc. was achieved. It was found that the REE deposit is not only hosted within the weathering crusts of granites and felsic volcanic rocks, but also with epimetamorphic rocks. The rare earth single element ore bodies i.e. ion-adsorption La ore, ion-adsorption Eu ore and ion-adsorption Dy ore etc have been delineated, depending on the update of analytical technology of ion-exchangeable REE. The distribution, migration and enrichment of REEs during ore-forming processes were summarized through the analysis of big data, indicating the ore-prospecting horizon for LREE and HREE. The high resolution remote sensing technology was applied to achieve real-time and full coverage supervision of REE mining. Finally, the normalized water geochemical survey was conducted to monitor changes in mines and their peripheral water environments so as to reveal the relations between the production conditions of REE mines and environmental pollution.