A Massive Trove of Rare-Earth Metals Has Been Found in Japan

 Rare metals are important in making high-tech products including electric vehicles, mobile phones and batteries. The metals lie in a seabed about 1,150 miles southeast of Tokyo. The seabed contains more than 16 million tonnes of rare earth oxides. The world has relied on China for almost all of its rare- earth metals. 

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This is a huge deal if it can be mined economically. China is a major supplier of rare earths right now but not the only one. The other is Australia, which produces about 10 percent of the world's supply. 

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So Japan will save us from dependence on Chinese controlled rare-earths. Hopefully its significant enough to give them a new economic boom. 

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China has tightly controlled the world's supply for decades of these minerals used in almost everything, from smartphones and EV batteries to planes, defense and satellite rockets. But Japan's discovery could be a game-changer. 

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