facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Japan eyes rare earths cache on sea bottom

April 2, 2013 at 6:24 PM   |   Comments

TOKYO, April 2 (UPI) -- Japanese researchers say China's virtual monopoly on rare earth elements could be weakened following the discovery of vast deposits on the Pacific Ocean floor.

About 97 per cent of the world's supply of the elements vital to many technologies -- from LCD screen to batteries in hybrid cars and other electronics -- comes from China.

Yasuhiro Kato and colleagues at the University of Tokyo -- who two years ago announced the discovery of muds rich in rare earths below international waters -- say a new discovery of such resources has been made inside Japan's exclusive economic zone so the nation will not need to negotiate mineral rights, NewScientist.com reported Tuesday.

Japan presently imports more than 80 per cent of its rare earths from China.

When China restricted its exports of rare earths in 2010, skyrocketing prices ensued in Japan.

If Japan could produce 10 per cent of its own rare earths requirements, Kato said, China would have to lower its prices.

"This is a very effective resources strategy," he said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police
2
Perth's first iPhone buyer immediately drops brand new phone on live TV Perth's first iPhone buyer immediately drops brand new phone on live TV
3
Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India Dogs are the favorite food of leopards in rural India
4
NASA launches project to get citizens involved in Mars exploration NASA launches project to get citizens involved in Mars exploration
5
Tuna fishermen are not happy about proposed marine sanctuary Tuna fishermen are not happy about proposed marine sanctuary
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback