Scientists in Japan discover rare earths in Pacific Ocean east of Tokyo, 04 Jul 2012 16:39

A team of Japanese scientists have found a large source of rare earth minerals in the country’s surrounding Pacific Ocean. The deposit, believed to be close to 6.8 million tons, is in the seabed near the island of Minamitorishima, approximately 2000 kilometers (1,243 miles) to the east of Tokyo. The researchers, led by University of Tokyo professor Yasuhiro Kato, say that this is the first time such a large deposit of rare earths has been found in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, and add that the amount is enough supply Japan for almost 227 years’ worth of its consumer electronics and hybrid car engine needs.

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