Japanese scientists made a map of the huge reserves of rare earth elements in the deep mud. According to them, enough to feed the international demand for the “almost infinite” basis. The deposition found in the Japanese exclusive economic waters, contains more than 16 million tons of elements that are literally worth more than gold in the manufacture of high-tech products, from mobile phones to electric cars.
A team of several universities, enterprises and government agencies, surveyed the Western part Tihonova ocean near ostrvo Enamoradisimo, Japan.
In the survey area in the mineral-rich region, the survey found about 1.2 million tonnes deposits of rare-earth oxides, according to a study conducted by Utero by Takaya, scientists from Waseda University and Yasuhiro Kato from Tokyo University.
About 2,500 square kilometres South of the Japanese Islands must contain 16 million tons of valuable items and “potentially supply the world on an almost endless basis,” the study says.
The reserves in this region “have considerable potential in the form of deposits of ore crucial to the modern society elements.” Reserves of rare earth elements in this area will last for hundreds of years, which is incredible in conditions of severe shortage of rare earth elements. The team is now looking for effective methods of extraction and separation of valuable elements from the other in the silt. The search for solutions will take up to five years.
Currently the world is in serious measure relies on rare earth elements in China — most of them supplying Beijing. But the export of these products is heavily restricted for diplomatic reasons. In 2010, for example, Japanese manufacturers are faced with serzno deficit, since China has restricted the export of precious metals.
This occurred after Japan arrested the Chinese captain of the trawler, which was embroiled in a bypass with the Japanese coastal troops near the Senkaku Islands, which China claims.
“A huge amount of resources and the efficiency of processing of minerals are strong indicators that this new resource of sludge from the rare-earth elements can be used in the near future,” say the researchers.