Japanese island’s mud could alter global economy: Study

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Tokyo: An estimated 16 million tonnes of mud containing massive, “semi-infinite” stores of valuable rare earth minerals, found in a small Japanese island in the Pacific Ocean could alter global economy, a new study has revealed.

According to the study published by a team of Japanese researchers, this huge patch of mineral-rich deep sea mud lies near Minamitori Island, 1,200 km off the coast of Japan, reports CNN.

Rare earth minerals contain rare earth elements that are used in high-tech devices like smartphones, missile systems, radar devices and hybrid vehicles. 

For instance, yttrium, one of the metals included in this recent discovery, can be used to make camera lenses, superconductors and cell phone screens.

The 16 million tonnes of materials could contain 780 years worth of yttrium, 620 years worth of europium, 420 years worth of terbium and 730 years worth of dysprosium. 

In other words, it “has the potential to supply these materials on a semi-infinite basis to the world”,…

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