Japan Finds "Semi-infinite" Trove of Rare Earth Elements

Posted by Megalith 2:30 PM (CDT)

Sunday April 15, 2018

Despite fears that the world could be running out of critical minerals, a team of researchers in Japan has discovered a massive reserve of rare earth elements: 16 million tons of rare earth oxide and various other elements were found, enough to feed global demand on a "semi-infinite basis."

The world relies heavily on China for rare earths, with Beijing producing most of the elements currently available on the market. But Beijing has severely restricted exports of these products at times of diplomatic tension. In 2010, for example, Japanese manufacturers faced serious supply shortages as China limited the valuable exports.