Researchers in Japan have discovered deposits of rare-earth minerals capable of supplying the world on a “semi-infinite basis.” The new study, published in Nature, stated that the deposit is abundant in valuable metals.
The study authors wrote that there are 16 million tons of these metals. There’s enough amount of yttrium to sustain the global demand for almost 800 years. There are also enough amounts of dysprosium, europium and terbium to meet the demand for hundreds and hundreds of years.
The recent finding means great news to the global economy.
The rare-earth deposit was found off the coast of Japan, specifically Minamitori Island about 1,150 miles southeast of Tokyo. The island has sole rights to the cache since it is located in the country’s exclusive economic zone.
Rare-earth minerals make smartphones and electric vehicles expensive.
The Earth’s crust may be abundant in rare-earth minerals but they are typically widespread. That is the reason finding these elements clumped together for extraction is rare, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Currently, there are only a few areas where these elements can be mined and extracted and the process of doing so is, as expected, expensive. For decades, the world’s supply of rare-earth metals has been controlled mostly by China, forcing Japan to go with the prices set by China.
Japan began with their quest to search for deposits after China stopped their shipments.
Volcanic activity contributes to the formation of rare-earth minerals.
Many of the ones existing on the planet were initially formed by supernova explosions.
Japan may now be richer in resources after this discovery but the country still can’t use the deposit to dominate the global market. The reason — the process of extraction, which can be really expensive.
Yutaro Takaya, lead author of the study, said that more research is needed to learn more about the cheapest extraction method that can be used.
What’s certain now is that Japan has the opportunity to take the lead in the global supply of these metals, forcing big countries that manufacture electronic devices to purchase the resources on Japan’s terms.
Ancient 99-Million-Year-Old Frogs Look Just Like Modern-Day Toads
Frogs will always be frogs, whether they were born today or in the Cretaceous Period.
The world is filled with exciting new discoveries from ancient times. Scientists have just uncovered evidence that frogs roamed the Earth during the Cretaceous Period about 100 million years ago. Interestingly, these ancient toads seem to look just like their modern-day descendants.
A new report confirms that scientists have found four frog fossils in northern Myanmar. The tiny bodies were encased in amber and offer a clear glimpse at what tropical rainforests looked like in the Cretaceous Period. In any case, the discovery is groundbreaking since frogs rarely become fossils....
Elon Musk’s Flamethrowers Get Misused On Social Media Despite Strict Terms & Conditions
What better way to start a particularly hot summer?
There is little doubt that Elon Musk's flamethrowers are the hottest new commodity right now. After all, the fiery device produced by The Boring Company have just been sold out. However, it looks like consumers have already started misusing the dangerous product despite its lengthy terms and conditions.
The Boring Company finally rolled out Not A Flamethrower at a celebrated pick up event held at the company's headquarters. People who had pre-ordered the gadgets were given a chance to sample the power of the flamethrower on unfortunate marshmallows. Although safety was reinforced during the event, things took a dangerous turn once everyone got home....
NASA’s Curiosity Rover Finds Ancient Organics On Mars, Possible Life On Planet In The Past
The new discovery might confirm life thrived on the Red Planet billions of years ago.
Curiosity has made an exciting discovery on the surface of Mars. The rover has just found possible evidence of life on the planet billions of years ago. NASA might not quite ready to confirm that creatures once roamed the Red Planet. Nevertheless, the agency believes that the findings could mean positive things for future missions.
The NASA rover has found organic molecules in sedimentary rocks near the planet's surface. These molecules may contain hydroxen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen and are usually associated with life. However, their presence in the billion-year-old rocks does not confirm life on Mars just yet....