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March 26 2013

Japan discovers massive rare earth deposit

For the second time this month, Japan has made an important natural resource discovery.

Japanese researchers say they have found a massive rare earth deposit on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. The deposit, according to AFP, is 20 to 30 times more concentrated than Chinese mines, the world’s largest rare earth supplier.

Why is this important? For one, these precious metals are used in high-tech manufacturing. The computer or phone you’re reading this from is brought to you by rare earth metals. The other major reason is that this find could break up China’s rare earth monopoly.

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