Rare Earth News
Seabed rare earth mining gaining popularity
As prices rise for rare earth elements (REE) in China, methods of mining the profitable metals are becoming more creative and innovative, with seabed mining becoming a very real option, according to Investment-U Research.
"Extremely rich" deposits of REE have been discovered on the seabed of the Pacific Ocean, spanning from Japan to British Columbia.
"The deposits have a heavy concentration of rare earths. Just one square kilometer of deposits will be able to provide one-fifth of the current global annual consumption," said Yasuhiro Kato, associate professor of Earth Science at the University of Tokyo.
The discovery was made after Japan decided to break its dependence on rare earth metals from China in March, when Japanese geologists discovered nearly 100 billion tons of the elements in the mud of the ocean floor, according to the BBC.
As China loses its monopoly on rare earth mining, investing in rare earth explorations has spread around the world, from the Pacific seabed to rich deposits found at sites in British Columbia and Quebec. The metals have become highly valuable, as their increased use in renewable energy technology has boosted demand.