Thursday, April 12th 2018

Quasi-Infinite Deposits of Rare-Earth Metals Found Underneath Japanese Waters

Rare-earth minerals are a bunch of pesky substances that are paramount in many applications - the most important of which, by TPU readers' and news editors' standards, is the enablement of high-tech circuits and applications. Located on the seabed of Japan's shores, in a roughly 965-square-mile Pacific Ocean seabed near Minamitorishima Island, the deposits contain more than 16 million tons of rare-earth oxides, according to a study published in Nature Publishing Group's Scientific Reports.

That's equivalent, researchers say, to 780 years' worth of yttrium supply (used for LEDs, phosphors, electrodes, superconductors...), 620 years of europium (used as dopant in lasers, or as a red phosphor in television sets and fluorescent lamps), 420 years of terbium (used in solid state devices and fuel cells) and 730 years of dysprosium (used for its high thermal neutron absorption in nuclear reactors' control rods, of all things). That's why they're ailing this a "semi-infinite" trove of rare-earth materials.
Calling something infinite is already debatable enough, but semi-infinite almost reaches that point - that's true, surely, considering our own life expectancy and the amount of rare-metals we use today, but I'd think we as a species would love to be here for more than some mere 420 years. The discovery should at least bring some more competitive pricing to the rare-earth materials market, though, which was seemingly cornered (and still is, until Japan can actually get to those resources, which won't be easy) by the world's greatest supplier, China, who increased prices ten-fold. A consortium of Japanese government-backed entities, companies and researchers plans to conduct an extraction feasibility test within the next five years. Sources: The tremendous potential of deep- sea mud as a source of rare-earth elements - Nature, via CNBC
Add your own comment

44 Comments on Quasi-Infinite Deposits of Rare-Earth Metals Found Underneath Japanese Waters

#1
the54thvoid
One word.

Godzilla.

If you're going to start messing with the waters off Japan, well, you'd better expect monsters.
Posted on Reply
#2
theoneandonlymrk
the54thvoid said:
One word.

Godzilla.

If you're going to start messing with the waters off Japan, well, you'd better expect monsters.
It's probably there, due to the decayed chard carcusis of Godzilla's fallen foes, ,,from when he was a kid.
Posted on Reply
#3
dozenfury
Good to see that China won't have a monopoly on these rare-earth metals.

It also makes me wonder though what would happen if this type of discovery were made in the South China Sea, given the militarization and disputed ground claims...
Posted on Reply
#4
windwhirl
dozenfury said:
Good to see that China won't have a monopoly on these rare-earth metals.

It also makes me wonder though what would happen if this type of discovery were made in the South China Sea, given the militarization and disputed ground claims...
The place could become a battlefield... If they don't just bomb the crap out of it
Posted on Reply
#5
bug
Miners gobbling this up in 3, 2, 1! (And you know which miners I'm talking about ;) )
Posted on Reply
#6
FPSPusher
I hope they can mine without adding to the massive damage that's already there. But more important is cheaper computer products this may provide. : )
Posted on Reply
#7
xkm1948
Well damn I hope they don't find a way to invade Japan now for those piles of cash sitting at the bottom of the ocean.
Posted on Reply
#8
AsRock
TPU addict
dozenfury said:
Good to see that China won't have a monopoly on these rare-earth metals.

It also makes me wonder though what would happen if this type of discovery were made in the South China Sea, given the militarization and disputed ground claims...
No i bet other country's will not get away with taking it like they took other country's.
Posted on Reply
#9
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Hmmmm, maybe we will see another Japanese mining operation like the old Battleship Island?
Posted on Reply
#10
AnarchoPrimitiv
Oh yeah, don't hesitate, don't think twice, and completely ignore the impending and inescapable environmental collapse that has claimed every civilization previous to ours, and just extract those resource as fast as possible. Oh, and don't forget to really increase the profit margin by making the public and the environment assume the costs of those "externalities" (environmental damage, worker's health, etc). After all, some ambiguous, unnameable "They" will magically invent some equally ambiguous and unnameable technology, that will magically save everyone, right? I mean, that's got to be true since it's what everyone secretly believe, right?
Posted on Reply
#11
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
AsRock said:
No i bet other country's will not get away with taking it like they took other country's.
Well, the USA did manage to get the oil from Saddam Hussein in IraQ.... They got away with that pretty well id say.... With the finesse and grace of a ballet dancer.


Unfortunately the US are busy deciding how to tackle Russia and Syria so arent available for a sneaky full scale invasion.
Posted on Reply
#12
bug
FreedomEclipse said:
Well, the USA did manage to get the oil from Saddam Hussein in IraQ.... They got away with that pretty well id say.... With the finesse and grace of a ballet dancer.
Not that stupid argument again. Have you ever bothered to check how much oil does the US import from Irak? The information is public domain, one google search away.
Posted on Reply
#13
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
AnarchoPrimitiv said:
Oh yeah, don't hesitate, don't think twice, and completely ignore the impending and inescapable environmental collapse that has claimed every civilization previous to ours, and just extract those resource as fast as possible. Oh, and don't forget to really increase the profit margin by making the public and the environment assume the costs of those "externalities" (environmental damage, worker's health, etc). After all, some ambiguous, unnameable "They" will magically invent some equally ambiguous and unnameable at this time technology, that will magically save everyone, right? I mean, that's got to be true since it's what everyone secretly believe, right?
You realize all your computer devices use rare earth minerals, right. Instead of getting on a soapbox using your electronic device, throw them all away and stop posting this nonsense, unless you are prepared to fix it. You are just being duplicitous and contributing to said problem you are concerned about.
Posted on Reply
#14
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Looks like the US has some freedom to spread to Japan.
Posted on Reply
#15
xkm1948
cdawall said:
Looks like the US has some freedom to spread to Japan.
lolol. Hope not.
Posted on Reply
#16
Final_Fighter
thank god, trade with japan is much better for us then china. looks like one lese strangle hold the chinese have on the U.S. economy.
Posted on Reply
#17
Bansaku
AnarchoPrimitiv said:
Oh yeah, don't hesitate, don't think twice, and completely ignore the impending and inescapable environmental collapse that has claimed every civilization previous to ours, and just extract those resource as fast as possible. Oh, and don't forget to really increase the profit margin by making the public and the environment assume the costs of those "externalities" (environmental damage, worker's health, etc). After all, some ambiguous, unnameable "They" will magically invent some equally ambiguous and unnameable at this time technology, that will magically save everyone, right? I mean, that's got to be true since it's what everyone secretly believe, right?
Take your far-left, regressive, ignorant, ideals somewhere else troll!
Posted on Reply
#18
Bones
theoneandonlymrk said:
It's probably there, due to the decayed chard carcusis of Godzilla's fallen foes, ,,from when he was a kid.
Or maybe it was where he had his own personal litterbox.... Who knows?

Competiton is always good, let's hope something feasable can be made of it.
Posted on Reply
#19
ShurikN
cdawall said:
Looks like the US has some freedom to spread to Japan.
Keep your freedom to yourself, thank you.
Posted on Reply
#20
AnarchoPrimitiv
rtwjunkie said:
You realize all your computer devices use rare earth minerals, right. Instead of getting on a soapbox using your electronic device, throw them all away and stop posting this nonsense, unless you are prepared to fix it. You are just being duplicitous and contributing to said problem you are concerned about.
You realize pointing out my personal deficiencies and shortcomings does absolutely nothing to counter or disprove my argument, right? In fact, I could be the biggest personal hypocrite in the world, and it still wouldn't be of consequence to my argument....go after me, besides being a shortcut to thinking, is attacking the messenger, not the message.
Posted on Reply
#21
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
This explains why Japan is revisiting its "defensive" military doctrine. They're worried China could try something. Another eastern "nine-dash line".
Posted on Reply
#22
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
AnarchoPrimitiv said:
You realize pointing out my personal deficiencies and shortcomings does absolutely nothing to counter or disprove my argument, right? In fact, I could be the biggest personal hypocrite in the world, and it still wouldn't be of consequence to my argument....go after me, besides being a shortcut to thinking, is attacking the messenger, not the message.
Fair enough. I just wanted to make sure you understood that you weren’t fixing or providing a solution with your comment. Blasting a system with no solution isn’t helpful.

Really, there is none, other than going back to pre-industrial era. You can only recover so much with recycling. Yeah, no shortcut here, I’ve thought about it. :)
Posted on Reply
#23
lexluthermiester
Finding these deposit's and mining them are two very different things.
Posted on Reply
#24
lexluthermiester
cdawall said:
Looks like the US has some freedom to spread to Japan.
What are you talking about? The US hasn't left Japan since WW2.. And we're great allies.
Posted on Reply
#25
AnarchoPrimitiv
rtwjunkie said:
Fair enough. I just wanted to make sure you understood that you weren’t fixing or providing a solution with your comment. Blasting a system with no solution isn’t helpful.

Really, there is none, other than going back to pre-industrial era. You can only recover so much with recycling. Yeah, no shortcut here, I’ve thought about it. :)
Blasting something without a solution is FAR LESS damaging than what 99% of the population do and just completely ignore it, wouldn't you agree? And actually, there is a solution, and one that hasn't been dreamed up or hypothesized, but in fact, is concrete and directly from our history. Thanks to the most recent anthropological findings, we now know that humans did have a form of existence that was 100% sustainable, and was proven concretely to be so, for approximately 190,000 years. Currently, anthropologists believe that modern homo sapiens is approximately 180,000-200,000 years old. Furthermore, we know that for all but that last 10,000 years of that time, we lived elusively as hunter-gatherers (though it has been said that that term should be flipped as 80% of sustenance came from gathering), and that this lifeway has been the only 100% sustainable form of existence we have know. Furthermore, essentially everything about pre-civilized humanity being violent, brutish, short, etc has all been proven to be incorrect, and furthermore, this isn't a fringe of anthropology that believes this, it's the mainstream consensus. As Anthropologist Harold Barclay stated:

[INDENT=2]"Anarchy is the order of the day among hunter-gatherers. Indeed, critics will ask why a small face-to-face group needs a government anyway. If this is so we can go further and say that since the egalitarian hunting-gathering society is the oldest type of human society and prevailed for the longest period of time – over thousands of decades – then anarchy must be the oldest and one of the most enduring kinds of polity. Ten thousand years ago everyone was an anarchist." [/INDENT]
[INDENT=2][/INDENT]
Furthermore, hunter-gathers live far better lives than civilized humans for the entirity of human civilization with the exception of the 20th century, in fact, many anthropologists believe based on osteoarcheology (the study of ancient human bones, teeth, etc) that pre-civilized hunter-gatherers had a much stronger immune system as they have found evidence in teeth of them healing from infections that would be a death sentence to modern humans without antibiotics. Furthermore, civilized people ate far worse than huntergatherers as Jarod Diamond spells out in "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race":

[INDENT=2]Scattered throughout the world, several dozen groups of so-called primitive people, like the Kalahari bushmen, continue to support themselves that way. It turns out that these people have plenty of leisure time, sleep a good deal, and work less hard than their farming neighbors. For instance, the average time devoted each week to obtaining food is only 12 to 19 hours for one group of Bushmen, 14 hours or less for the Hadza nomads of Tanzania.[/INDENT]

[INDENT=2]While farmers concentrate on high-carbohydrate crops like rice and potatoes, the mix of wild plants and animals in the diets of surviving hunter-gatherers provides more protein and a bettter balance of other nutrients. In one study, the Bushmen's average daily food intake (during a month when food was plentiful) was 2,140 calories and 93 grams of protein, considerably greater than the recommended daily allowance for people of their size. It's almost inconceivable that Bushmen, who eat 75 or so wild plants, could die of starvation the way hundreds of thousands of Irish farmers and their families did during the potato famine of the 1840s.[/INDENT]
[INDENT=2][/INDENT]
Diamond again on the superior health of our pre-civilized ancestors:

[INDENT=2]One straight forward example of what paleopathologists have learned from skeletons concerns historical changes in height. Skeletons from Greece and Turkey show that the average height of hunger-gatherers toward the end of the ice ages was a generous 5' 9'' for men, 5' 5'' for women. With the adoption of agriculture, height crashed, and by 3000 B. C. had reached a low of only 5' 3'' for men, 5' for women. By classical times heights were very slowly on the rise again, but modern Greeks and Turks have still not regained the average height of their distant ancestors.[/INDENT]
[INDENT=2][/INDENT]
For anyone that's going to reply with: "but hunter-gatherers only lived to an average of 23 years old". Well, that is an average with a high degree of infant mortality averaged in, however, from the fossile and bone evidence what has been discovered is that once a hunter-gatherer got passed the age of two, the vast majority lived into their 50's and 60's, with even more extraordinary examples demonstrated individuals living into their 70s and with degenerative conditions like arthritis, which means that their familiy members took care of them indefinitely when they couldn't take care of themselves. And, by the way, in agricultural societies. the average age was only 19, so even there, the hunter gatherers win.

All this info can be found here: http://discovermagazine.com/1987/may/02-the-worst-mistake-in-the-history-of-the-human-race

I want to add that I have cited my sources, and not one piece of information is my opinion! And that's because, until I have done all the research and studying that the individuals I have cited have done, my OPINION means absolutely nothing. Furthermore, despite what America believes, everyoné opinion doesn't matter, doesn't deserve respect, and does not stand on equal footing with every other opinion. So, if anyone wants to refute me, I respectfully request that you refer to the peer-reviewed, scholarly conclusions of experts whom have dedicated their lives to these fields....that's not intellectual elitism, that's called rationality.
[INDENT=2][/INDENT]
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment