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Old 17th April 2018, 09:20 AM   #1
JoeMorgue
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Massive deposits of multiple rare earth metals found on Japanese Island

I think that people aren't getting how much of a big deal this could potentially be.

Quote:
A small island in the Pacific Ocean is the site of a huge discovery that could change Japan's economic future. How huge? One economist called it a "game changer." The researchers who helped find it said it had "tremendous potential."

It's mud. A whole bunch of mud -- an estimated 16 million tons, to be exact. And in that mud, there are massive, "semi-infinite" stores of valuable rare earth minerals.
CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/16/asia/...rnd/index.html
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Old 17th April 2018, 09:38 AM   #2
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So, a Kong reboot?
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Old 17th April 2018, 10:12 AM   #3
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From the island's Wikipedia article, the actual location of the mud is some 250km south of the island, but within the economic zone the island allows Japan to claim. It's also 5600 to 5800 meters under water, which may make mining slightly difficult.
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Old 17th April 2018, 12:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
From the island's Wikipedia article, the actual location of the mud is some 250km south of the island, but within the economic zone the island allows Japan to claim. It's also 5600 to 5800 meters under water, which may make mining slightly difficult.
The idea of mining the bottom of the ocean is actually pretty old. It was even used as the cover story for Project Azorian, a CIA mission to salvage a sunken Soviet nuclear missile submarine way back in 1974.
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Old 17th April 2018, 12:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
So, a Kong reboot?
I am wondering what monsters this could spawn....
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Old 17th April 2018, 01:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I think that people aren't getting how much of a big deal this could potentially be.

CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/16/asia/...rnd/index.html
It means that for the coltan used in cell phones, we're no longer dependent on Congolese war lords?

ETA: strike that, wrong metal(s).
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Old 17th April 2018, 02:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
The idea of mining the bottom of the ocean is actually pretty old. It was even used as the cover story for Project Azorian, a CIA mission to salvage a sunken Soviet nuclear missile submarine way back in 1974.
Indeed. A company I worked for built most of the "mining" equipment, although before I got there. Some of the engineers had manganese nodules encased in plastic on their desks as mementos. They were well aware of what was really being "mined", as I learned when the story came out.
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Old 17th April 2018, 02:11 PM   #8
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Given the potential financial gain we're talking and possibility of controlling such a vital resource right about the time we're probably getting close to another major computer/tech revolution... they'll find a way to get to it.
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Old 17th April 2018, 02:13 PM   #9
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This could knock the bottom out of the asteroid mining market
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Old 17th April 2018, 02:17 PM   #10
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Perhaps it's Unobtainium?
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Old 17th April 2018, 03:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Indeed. A company I worked for built most of the "mining" equipment, although before I got there. Some of the engineers had manganese nodules encased in plastic on their desks as mementos. They were well aware of what was really being "mined", as I learned when the story came out.
My BIL's Dad's was on walnut. Honeywell Marine Electronics did control systems.
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Old 17th April 2018, 03:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
From the island's Wikipedia article, the actual location of the mud is some 250km south of the island, but within the economic zone the island allows Japan to claim. It's also 5600 to 5800 meters under water, which may make mining slightly difficult.
No big deal. Four vertical miles of pipe with a suction dredge venturi on the end.

Too bad they just recently scrapped the Glomar Explorer.
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Old 17th April 2018, 03:08 PM   #13
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How long before China declares historical rights and starts building an artificial island/mining base?
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Old 18th April 2018, 01:08 PM   #14
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