Japan uncovers huge rare earth seabed deposits

Japan has reportedly discovered massive potential seabed rare earths deposits 1000 times larger than those on land, researchers say.

The enormous rare earths minerals are estimated to be as large as 100 billion metric tons, Reuters reports.

The deposit lies approximately 3.5 to 6 kilometres under the sea and cover an area of more than 11 million square metres.

The University of Tokyo and Japan Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology study will be released online today in the British Nature Geoscience magazine.

In March, Japan began making changes to it resources laws to allow for mining of the seabed.

This new law is part of the Japanese Government’s plan to increase control of natural resources within the seabed inside of its exclusive economic zone.

It included a stricter approval process, a new tender system and a mechanism to monitor projects from the beginning of exploration and drilling.

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