Maastricht Economic and social Research and  training centre on Innovation and Technology

 
Levelling Latin America
Mining innovation can bring more sustainable and inclusive growth, especially across the Americas…
See: https://www.merit.unu.edu/mining-in-latin-america-using-innovation-to-level-the-playing-field/



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All headlines
  • A mystery source is producing banned ozone-destroying chemicals
  • Water filter inspired by Alan Turing passes first test
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  • In an interplanetary first, NASA to fly a helicopter on Mars
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  • Japan's rare-earth mineral deposit can supply the world for centuries
    Researchers have found a deposit of rare-earth minerals off the coast of Japan that could supply the world for centuries, according to a new study. The deposit contains 16 million tons of the valuable metals.

    Rare-earth minerals are used in everything from smartphone batteries to electric vehicles. By definition, these minerals contain one or more of 17 metallic rare-earth elements.

    These elements are actually plentiful in layers of the Earth's crust, but are typically widely dispersed. Because of that, it is rare to find any substantial amount of the elements clumped together as extractable minerals. Currently, there are only a few economically viable areas where they can be mined and they're generally expensive to extract.

    China has tightly controlled much of the world's supply of these minerals for decades. That has forced Japan - a major electronics manufacturer - to rely on prices dictated by their neighbour.

    The newly discovered deposit is enough to supply these metals on a semi-infinite basis to the world, according to the researchers. There's enough yttrium to meet the global demand for 780 years, dysprosium for 730 years, europium for 620 years, and terbium for 420 years.

    The cache lies off of Minamitori Island, about 1,850 km southeast of Tokyo. It's within Japan's exclusive economic zone, so the island nation has the sole rights to the resources there.

    Science Alert / Nature    April 16, 2018