(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)