Fascinating story on Mashable today about the discovery by Japanese scientists of a substantial deposit of “rare earth” minerals on the Pacific Ocean floor, close to Hawaii. According to the report, the type of minerals that have been discovered are used in the making of iPads, LCD TVs and other similar devices. Mashable says that prior to the discovery, which was announced today, there has been concern from those in the electronics industry as well as from the environmentalist lobby that supplies of rare earth minerals were rapidly diminishing. But now, according to Reuters, Yasuhiro Kato, an associate professor of earth science at the University of Tokyo has said that the newly discovered deposits could be 1,000 times those known to be on land. Apparently the deposits are easily extractible from the sea floor, but the professor has not yet given an idea of when the extraction process will begin.
Source: Rare Earth Minerals Discovered That Build iPads“The deposits have a heavy concentration of rare earths,” the professor told Reuters. “Just one square kilometre (0.4 square miles) of deposits will be able to provide one-fifth of the current global annual consumption.”
Huge rare earth deposits found in Pacific: Japan experts | Reuters