Tag Archives: Japan Rare Earths

Japan’s Scientists Find Major Rare Earth Deposits

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 Friday.

Around 6.8 million tonnes 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 said.

He said mud samples taken from an area near Minamitorishima island, some 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) southeast 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.

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Japan plans to jointly develop rare earth metals with Myanmar

Japan plans to jointly develop rare earth metals and other natural resources with Myanmar as it attempts to diversify its supply chain for the minerals, which are used in a slew high-tech goods, sources close to the matter said Sunday.

The move was prompted by China, which virtually has a monopoly over rare earth metals but reportedly stopped shipments to Japan last year during an escalating diplomatic spat.

Japan is informally sounding out Myanmar about sending Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin to Japan later this year to advance the plan, the sources said.

Read the rest of the story: Japan eyes rare earth deal with Myanmar.