Bastnasite ore obtained from Indian Rare Earth (IRE) was investigated for its possible use as a phosphor material. The material was characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF), photoacoustic spectroscopy (PAS), photoluminescence (PL) and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR) techniques. XRD studies revealed the semi processed ore to be consisting of single phase CeO2 with no other impurities. EDXRF studies revealed the presence of 'Th' and traces of 'Sm' along with 'Ce' in the sample. PAS studies revealed the presence of strong charge transfer from oxygen to cerium in the system. PL studies confirmed the presence of at least four trivalent rare earths, viz. Sm, Eu, Dy and Tb in the system in trace quantities. The emission spectrum and decay time data were evaluated. It was observed that the rare earth ions are situated at distorted sites in the system surrounded by defect centers. EPR studies confirmed the presence of Ce(3+)in the system along with electron trapped in oxygen ion vacancies. CIE indices for the ore sample were evaluated and it was seen that the overall emission from the system was in the 'magenta' region of the visible spectrum. The emission intensities were also compared with that of commercial samples. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.