japan finds major rare earth deposits
A scientist says the technology industry has grown for more than 200 years. Around 6.
University of Tokyo Professor Kato Kang Hong told AFP on Friday that 8 million tons of valuable minerals for electric vehicles, ipod and laser are sitting on the bottom of the sea near the Japanese Far East island.
He said mud samples collected from a region near Minamitorishima Island, about 2000 kilometers southeast of Tokyo, showed that the deposits were about 220 times the average annual use of Japanese industry.
The sea floor contains a large number of rare earth elements.
He said a rare earth mineral used in a hybrid car engine.
\"Specifically, I estimate that the value of Japan\'s current consumption at least in 400 is in the sediment,\" the professor said . \" He checked the mud samples collected from the seabed of about 5600 metres.
\"We can use oil extraction technology to start drilling in mud as early as three years and start producing rare earth minerals within five years,\" he said . \".
This will be the first rare mass discovery.
According to local media reports, some deposits were found in Japan\'s exclusive economic zone.
Rare earths are used to manufacture a wide range of high-tech products, including powerful magnets, batteries, LED lights, electric vehicles, ipod, lasers, wind turbines and missiles.
China currently produces more than the world\'s supply of rare earths, but the government says the move is aimed at protecting China\'s environment and supplies.