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Rare-earth metal rock layer discovered at depth of 5,500 meters off Minami-Torishima

  • 2016-02-10 15:00:00
  • , Mainichi
  • Translation

(Mainichi: February 10, 2016 – p. 4)

 

 The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) and Kochi University announced on Feb. 9 that they have jointly discovered cobalt-rich crusts in the seabed at a depth of 5,500 meters off the Minami-Torishima Island.

 

 Cobalt-rich crusts contain cobalt, nickel, platinum, and other rare-earth metals. It is believed that there are cobalt-rich crusts underwater from the Ogasawara Islands to Okinawa.

 

 JAMSTEC conducted a survey using “Kaiko,” a remotely operated underwater vehicle, in January and confirmed that cobalt-rich crusts are scattered on a sloped surface on a seamount 200 km off the Minami-Torishima Island.

 

 The research team collected a rock measuring 30-40 cm wide and 3 to 8 cm thick and plans to study the formation and composition of the rock. (Abridged)

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