JAPAN FINDS MAJOR RARE EARTH MINERALS
“A surprise discovery in Japan has unearthed a large deposit of rare earth minerals in its Pacific seabed. The amount discovered is enough to supply its hi-tech industries for more than 200 years, a scientist says. Almost 7 million tonnes of minerals discovered.
Around 6.8 million tonnes of the valuable minerals, used in electric cars, iPods and lasers, are sitting under the seabed near a far eastern Japanese island, Tokyo University professor Yasuhiro Kato told AFP on Friday.
He said mud samples taken from an area near Minamitorishima island, some 2000 kilometres southeast of Tokyo, indicated deposits amounted to around 220 times the average annual amount used by industry in Japan. Oil extraction technology can be used to produce dysprosium, used in smart tech products. –More at Japan’s discovery.
On July 4th 2011, Japan also announced it had discovered 100b tonnes of rare earth minerals in waters between Japan, Hawaii and Tahiti across 78 locations up to 20,000 feet under the sea. Dredging the ocean floor and then using simple acid leaching can extract 80-90% of the rare earth minerals. They are important as China has had a monopoly on the market’s future prospects until this news with trade restrictions, affecting electronics.
[Photo: Jana Werner].
~Posted by Horiwoodblog, Aotearoa New Zealand, Polynesia Asia-Pacific. 7.9.12~