29 Jun '12, 10am

Japan finds enough rare earth deposits to supply industry for 200 years

TOKYO (AFP) - 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 said on Friday. Around 608 million kg 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. He said mud samples taken from an area near Minamitorishima island, some 2,000km south-east 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. Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. blog comments powered by Disqus

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STISt...

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