Google Maps

Japan hits rare earth motherload

JAPAN has found a large deposit of rare earth minerals in its Pacific seabed, enough to supply its hi-tech industries for more than 200 years, a scientist says.

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.

The seabed contained a substantial amount of dysprosium - a rare earth mineral used in the engines for hybrid cars, he said.

"Specifically on dysprosium, I estimate at least 400 years worth of Japan's current consumption is in the deposits," said the professor, who examined mud samples taken from the seabed around 5600 metres.

Read more at news.com.au


Top 20 Qld suburbs sponsoring foreign kids

Premium Content Top 20 Qld suburbs sponsoring foreign kids

These are the Queensland suburbs that have dug deep to sponsor children overseas.

How Queensland businesses can cash in on Olympics

Premium Content How Queensland businesses can cash in on Olympics

Businesses in Qld will have the chance to cash in on a 2032 Olympics

PM needs to cough up or we kiss Olympics goodbye

Premium Content PM needs to cough up or we kiss Olympics goodbye

Time is running out to meet an important deadline for Queensland’s Olympic bid...