Skip to comments.Rare Earth Metals Abundant in Deep-Sea Mud (Major Economic, Geopolitical Implications )
Posted on 07/04/2011 12:32:57 PM PDT by lbryce
A map published with the study shows rare earth element deposits in the Pacific Ocean less than two metres deep.
Abundant, rich deposits of materials used to make modern electronics have been found in the deep sea, suggesting that China could lose its tight control over the global supply.
China currently controls 97 per cent of the world's production of rare earth elements and the metal yttrium, which are used in energy-efficient batteries and power sources for devices such as flat-screen televisions, electric cars and smartphones. As demand for the elements grows, China has been hiking taxes and putting restrictions on exports. Prices of rare earth elements have increased roughly 700 per cent over the past decade.
It turns out that those elements are so abundant on the bottom of the ocean that the mud covering just one square kilometre of ocean floor in the Pacific Ocean could supply one-fifth of the current annual world consumption, according to a new study published online Sunday in Nature Geoscience.
Researchers led by Yasuhiro Kato at the University of Tokyo's department of systems innovation also found that extracting the elements from the mud was easy almost all of them came out after being mixed with solutions of hydrochloric or sulphuric acid that are considered dilute (roughly five times the concentration of acid in your stomach). Much of it is found in the accessible surface layer of mud.
Scientists had previously known that rare earth elements and yttrium are found in some kinds of deep-sea mud, but they knew little about the distribution of those deposits.
(Excerpt) Read more at cbc.ca ...
extracting the elements from the mud was easy almost all of them came out after being mixed with solutions of hydrochloric or sulphuric acid that are considered dilute (roughly five times the concentration of acid in your stomach). Much of it is found in the accessible surface layer of mud.Can the elements be extracted from the mud in situ?
If this pans out...is very good news. The Chinese dont like to play nice in the market place.
Time to get the Glomar Explorer out of storage.
I guess BO will ban this now.
Anyone who can't figure out that almost all of those areas are in "international" waters, outside of the reach of the Obamunist bureaucrats, doesn't deserve to make a dime.
1) Afghanistan also is rich with the elements, but they lack the infrastructure for extraction.
2) Focus on international waters so Obama and the environazi’s can’t stop you.
China will need some more aircraft carriers.
Excerpted articles should not be continued in the body of the thread. Thank you.
But won’t the acid harm the __________ (fill in the blank)if so then we can’t even consider extracting it.
I’m sure the Left are going through their lists of undersea creatures to see which one fits best for this application.
Oh no! All my rare earth stocks will be toast tomorrow! This could be a ploy by the short sellers. Yes I have been hearing about Nautilus Minerals for years. I don’t think they will be dredging up the ocean just yet.
For the children.
I predict they have already designated a species.
It will be a bottom feeding organism known to science as: Retrogradosus marinus biolgus. These abysmally parasitic organism feed only in the mud in the bottom of troughs cut into the floor of the abyssal plain where their disgusting and destructive behavior can be concealed by a mile or more of sea water.
Can the minerals be recovered on site? From what the erudite writer wrote, there should be absolutely no problems.
Read this howler: “A map published with the study shows rare earth element deposits in the Pacific Ocean less than two metres deep.”
How much trouble can there be recovering anything that is only two meters underwater?
I’m very sceptical about these reports!!! It sounds like the world is trying to put pressure on China by cliaming that rare earths can be easily mined from the ocean bottom and that the Chinese should make nice with their supply. If I was the Chinese I would play this like a Missourian...that is, “Show me” that you can recover them.
I was simply speculating on the possibility of avoiding the materials handling problem of getting the ore to the surface. If you could extract the valuable minerals in situ, you would disturb the sea bed that much less.
"How much trouble can there be recovering anything that is only two meters underwater?"
That was the first thing to grab my attention, as well.
Check out, Nautilus Minerals Inc.
Chuckle, not many will know what you refer to!
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