What are the Rare Earth Minerals?

A rare earth mineral, also known as Rare Earth Metals and Rare Earth Elements, are a total of 17 chemical elements consisting of the 15 lanthanides (ln) and scandium (Sc) and yttrium (y).

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Why are Rare Earth Minerals valuable?

As technology advances, the demand for rare earth metals is expected to continue to rise. Whilst some rare earths are truly rare, most are simply very difficult to exploit.

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The Production of Rare Earth Minerals

Before the 1950, most rare earth minerals were mined in India and Brazil. However, South Africa became the world’s leading producer in the 1950’s with the large discovery of monazite.

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Yokohama Marine Mining is an oceanic rare earth mineral exploration, development and production company. Our aim is to explore, develop and produce rare earth minerals from the ocean floor of the Pacific Ocean.

Yokohama Marine Mining has a focus on pioneering and innovative technology in our exploration, analysis and exploitation of mineral sites. We use the latest advances in undersea robotics and unmanned submarines to reach depths and locations which were previously unable to be explored and mined.

Yokohama Marine Mining focuses our current activities on the Pacific Ocean within 500km of the coast of the islands of Japan. Yokohama Marine Mining’s geologists have undertaken exploration of over 100 locations across the Pacific Ocean which estimated that more than 100 billion tons of rare earth minerals are available in the sediment on the ocean floor.

We have mining interests in the Okinawa Trough, to the north-west of Okinawa Island, in addition to a location near the Izu Islands, which are south of Yokohama. Both areas are highly active volcanic regions featuring rare earth producing hydrothermal vent systems. Initial studies conducted by Yokohama Marine Mining geologists have shown these areas to be rich in rare earth minerals, especially in gadolinite, apatite and cerite. Further feasibility studies have shown that they are economically for large scale development and mining.

Using the latest deep water exploration techniques, and employing state-of-the-art undersea robotics and unmanned submarines, Yokohama Marine Mining hopes to develop a deep water exploration site to a production facility within months of completing the analysis and feasibility study.