09 Jul '11, 6am

Japan Scores Huge Rare Earth Find in the South Pacific

Japan Scores Huge Rare Earth Find in the South Pacific

A truly gigantic rare earth find in sea mud off the coasts of Tahiti and Honolulu has just been announced by a Japanese research team from the University of Tokyo, Reuter s is reporting. At over 100 billion tons, the find vastly outweighs current (land-based) rare earth supplies currently being mined, mostly in China and Russia, of about 100 million tons. “We estimate that an area of just one square kilometer surrounding one of the sampling sites could provide one-fifth of the current annual world consumption of these elements,” said Professor Yasuhiro Kato. The find is significant because China has cut its exports in recent years as its demand has crept up on its supplies. Worldwide, exploration has been stepped up, and particularly by Japan, which had its supplies brutally cut over a political misstep a few years ago involving a straying Chinese fisherman. Japan is parti...

Full article: http://cleantechnica.com/2011/07/09/japan-scores-huge-rar...

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