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Thread: Japan's huge Rare Earth deposits

  1. #1
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Japan's huge Rare Earth deposits

    Game changer.

    Researchers have found hundreds of years' worth of rare-earth materials underneath Japanese waters enough to supply to the world on a "semi-infinite basis," according to a study published in Nature Publishing Group's Scientific Reports.
    Rare-earth metals are crucial in the making of high-tech products such as electric vehicles and batteries, and most of the world has relied on China for almost all of its needs.

    The materials sit in a roughly 965-square-mile Pacific Ocean seabed near Minamitorishima Island, which is located 1,150 miles southeast of Tokyo, according to the study published in Nature Publishing Group's Scientific Reports.

    Rare-earth metals are crucial in the making of high-tech products such as electric vehicles, mobile phones and batteries, and the world has relied on China for almost all of its rare-earth material.

    The seabed contains more than 16 million tons of rare-earth oxides, according to the study. That's equivalent to 780 years' worth of yttrium supply, 620 years of europium, 420 years of terbium and 730 years of dysprosium, it added.

    The discovery "has the potential to supply these metals on a semi-infinite basis to the world," the study said.
    Japan started looking after China cut off supplies

    The discovery of the deposits could pit Japan against China to become the world's largest producer of the materials, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

    Japan started seeking its own rare-earth metals after China held back shipments in 2010 during a dispute over islands both countries claim, Reuters reported in 2014. As a major electronics manufacturer, Japan needs rare earths for components.
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/12/japa...n-pacific.html
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    This is curious, it was previously reported as a discovery in 2013.
    See:https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8...gadget-economy

    Quite an engineering feat required to access the raw material:
    Exploration around the island of Minami-Torishima will continue for another two years before scaling up towards production. If Japan can find a cost-effective way of extracting the vast amount of minerals buried about 20,000 feet below the surface of the ocean, experts estimate the Asian country will have access to about 6.8 million tonnes of rare earths, equivalent to 230 years of local demand for the materials.
    See:http://www.mining.com/japans-massive...premacy-89013/

    The publication in 'Nature' on April 10th might explain why the new media coverage happened, even if very technical to the layman.
    Link:https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-23948-5.pdf




    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-13-2018 at 08:21 PM. Reason: Add third link
    davidbfpo

  3. #3
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    This is curious, it was previously reported as a discovery in 2013.
    Missed that, good catch but un-surprising that technical publications would catch it well in advance of the main stream media.

    Kinda raises the question again, what did Beijing find (or think they've found) that makes the Spratlys such an important game field?
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Israeli mining company unearths rare mineral

    OK, not in Japan, in Israel via BBC Monitoring:
    A mineral - previously only known to exist in outer space - has been found on Earth by an Israeli mining company
    Link:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-new...where-46816297
    Sounds horribly like PR "spin" and the use is jewellry.
    davidbfpo

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