Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Space Industry and Business News .




TECH SPACE
Deep-sea rare earths found in Japan
by Staff Writers
Tokyo (UPI) Jul 3, 2012


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Japanese researchers have discovered significant amounts of rare earth deposits on the bottom of the ocean about 1,243 miles southeast of Tokyo.

"An estimated 6.8 million tons of rare earth minerals, including dysprosium, exist in the mud in the deposit, which is within Japan's exclusive economic zone," said the group headed by University of Tokyo Professor Yasuhiro Kato, an expert in earth resources, Japan's state-run news agency Kyodo reports.

The amount is enough to supply Japan with the minerals for 230 years, the research team says.

Japan now relies on its supplies of rare earths from China, which has a monopoly of the 17 minerals used in the electronics, defense and renewable energy industries.

While China's rare earths reserves represent one-third of the global totals, it supplies more than 90 percent of the world's supply of the minerals. Since 2010, China has further tightened its grip on rare earths by introducing a series of export quotas on the minerals, arguing the measures are necessary to protect the country's natural resources and environment.

Kato told the Wall Street Journal Tokyo-based Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering Co., a company that specializes in deep-sea oil exploration, will work with his team in surveying the area. He estimates underwater mining for the rare earths could start in three to five years.

Industry insiders, however, say development of resource-rich areas in the Pacific Ocean could take as long as 20 years, the Journal report says. But that timetable factors in any likely international territory disputes in the areas and wouldn't apply to the under-sea rare earths discovery because it is located in Japan's exclusive economic zone.

Kato said he expects the cost to develop the underwater minerals will be lower compared with land-based rare earths because sea mining will not require the disposal of traces of radiogenic elements as does land mining.

"When people hear about developing resources they tend to immediately assume it will come with high costs. But, in fact, the cost of developing it is comparable to how much it costs to import rare earths now," Kato told the Journal.

While the Japanese government welcomed news of the discovery, it indicated it wasn't ready to rush into development.

"This is welcome news," said Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yukio Edano. "But the professor also says that a more detailed survey is necessary and that technology has to be developed to make commercial development possible," Edano said, adding the ministry had been planning to conduct its own survey of the area and would cooperate with the research team.

Last week, Japan, together with the United States and the European Union, requested that the World Trade Organization establish a panel to determine whether China's export restrictions on rare earths are permissible under WTO trade rules.

.


Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
Government cash revives Canada asbestos industry
Montreal (AFP) June 29, 2012
A government loan announced Friday will revive one of Canada's last asbestos mines, assuring exports of the fireproofing and insulating fibers for another 20 years. The province of Quebec said it would put up Can$58 million (US$57 million) toward renovating and reopening the Jeffrey Mine in Asbestos, after it was shuttered last year due to financial setbacks. Private investors led by Ba ... read more


TECH SPACE
Deep-sea rare earths found in Japan

Toshiba fined in US antitrust case

Tablet PCs poised to take over PC market

SACLA draws acclaim for unique XFEL design

TECH SPACE
Lockheed Martin Selected to Manage Major Defense Information Systems Network Operations

Lockheed Martin Selected to Deliver Major Improvements to DoD's ISR Information Sharing Capabilities

Boeing FAB-T Demonstrates Communications with On-orbit AEHF Satellite

Lockheed Martin Completes Environmental Testing on Second US Navy Satellite

TECH SPACE
Avanti Announces Launch Date for HYLAS 2 Satellite

Three Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne RS-68A Engines Power Delta IV Heavy Upgrade Vehicle on Inaugural Flight

ULA Delta IV Heavy Launches Second Payload in Nine Days for the NRO

ATK Completes Software TIM for Liberty under NASA's Commercial Crew Program

TECH SPACE
ESA extends its navigation lab in readiness for Galileo testing

Mission accomplished for Galileo's pathfinder GIOVE-A

New system navigates without satellites

Test: Drones' GPS navigation can be hacked

TECH SPACE
US grounds fire-fighting C-130 aircraft after crash

Storm researcher calls for new air safety guidelines

Japan buys F-35 stealth jets despite price rise

Sweden could lend Swiss Gripen jets

TECH SPACE
Japan's Renesas eyes $550 mn savings, cutting 5,000 jobs

Discovery of material with amazing properties

Micron to buy troubled Japan chip-maker Elpida

Rewriting quantum chips with a beam of light

TECH SPACE
Bottleneck off the Orkney Islands

Arianespace to launch DZZ-HR high-resolution observation satellite

China to invest in Earth monitoring system

Delving Inside Earth from Space

TECH SPACE
Plastic pollution reaching surprising levels off coast of Pacific Northwest

Novel clay-based coating may point the way to new generation of green flame retardants

Lab-on-a-chip detects trace levels of toxic vapors in homes near Utah Air Force Base

Guinness says Philippine croc world's largest




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement