Rare-earth mineral deposit found off the coast of Japan
Japan says it has found an estimated 16 ton of rare-earth minerals near Japan's Minamitorishima Island.
MINAMITORISHIMA ISLAND, JAPAN — A deposit of rare-earth minerals has been discovered off the coast of Japan.
These minerals were found 6,000 meters beneath sea level near Japan's Minamitorishima Island in April 2018,according to a study published in the journal Nature.
An estimated 16 million ton of rare minerals including yttrium, dysprosium, europium and terbium have been found in the deposit.
These rare earth minerals are used in smartphones and electric cars as well as rechargeable batteries.
It is rare for large amounts of minerals to be found in huge deposits, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Japan started looking for rare-earth minerals after a dispute with China, which is currently the largest exporter of rare earths minerals, according to a Reuters report.
In 2014, China held back shipments of rare-earth minerals to Japan during a row over disputed islands between the two nations.
At the same time, China cut back its export of rare-earth minerals and increased the price of the minerals to preserve its resources.
After China, the largest amount of rare earth reserves are found in Vietnam, Brazil, Russia, South Africa and India, according to Statista 2018.
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