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Goodbye Rare Earth Minerals, Hello Not So Rare Underwater Minerals: Vast ___ Oxide Deposit Discovered In Pacific Seabed

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Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:18 | 1423376 GoinFawr
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Hunh. Arrrrr any idea which REE's we's talkin' 'bout? Oh I hear there's lots of gold in seawater too m8ie, or even just lying around on the bottom of the briny deeps, harrrr: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_missing_ships

Davey Jones, whatchew be hidin' in that locker, scurvy dog that y'harrr.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 01:04 | 1423588 DaveyJones
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Shhhhhh. The Japanese have had enough bad luck with seawater

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 03:27 | 1423691 zuuuueri
zuuuueri's picture

there's probably plenty of cesium there for the taking... 

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 06:01 | 1423747 falak pema
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Polynodules... Old story... being resuscitated. The french got interested in this 40 years ago...then it went dead... I wonder...

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 11:22 | 1424281 Solid
Solid's picture

There elements, not minerals!

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 21:54 | 1423379 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

Now If I can just get down there with my $5 shovel...

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 21:58 | 1423385 Misean
Misean's picture

China is restricting the export of said shovels.

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 21:58 | 1423388 Squishi
Squishi's picture


Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:21 | 1423419 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

For a moment there I thought you were going to tell us it costs only $5 to dig it out of the ground... or out of the seafloor...

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:27 | 1423422 francis_sawyer
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Jamie & Lloyd went "short" MCP & REMX on the Friday close...

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 02:10 | 1423634 Anonymouse
Anonymouse's picture

Two thoughts:

- Resurrection of the "Law of the Sea Treaty" / huge source of power and income for the UN

- Naval superiority / naval warfare may be the word of the day

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 09:59 | 1424052 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Yes, naval superiority.

We have the technology and armaments to overcome the Reigo problem.


Sun, 07/03/2011 - 21:59 | 1423389 GoldmanSux
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More like short hedge funds planting a load of crap on a Sunday night when markets are closed Monday, but the stocks trade in Canada.

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:02 | 1423394 slow_roast
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Do these Rare Earths in the ocean happen to lie about 100 yards offshore from the Fukishima plant? 

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:31 | 1423426 Sabibaby
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Some of those Rare Earths off the shore of Fukushima are actually "Not Of This Earths"

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 02:31 | 1423657 Sudden Debt
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You can all buy them on Ebay.

I've even seen a Child Urine sample in a plastic bottle THAT GLOWS IN THE DARK FOR THE NEXT 5000 YEARS! FOR ONLY 2.99$ !!!

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:05 | 1423396 Boston
Boston's picture

Speaking of discoveries in Asia, how about this one:


Radioactive Cesium Is Found in Tokyo Water



Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:12 | 1423409 Cognitive Dissonance
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Don't worry. It's transitory. It's always transitory......even when it isn't.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 01:33 | 1423613 Stuck on Zero
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No problem.  It's quite efficiently filtered out of the water and concentrated in kidneys and livers.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 04:01 | 1423710 chumbawamba
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Some minerals in the water supply never killed anyone.  Free vitamins!

I am Chumbawamba.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 07:08 | 1423774 zhandax
zhandax's picture

Life is transitory....you won't care about any of this shit once you are dead.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 14:14 | 1424762 oldman
oldman's picture

Dear zhandax

That is a real 'do-nothing' point of view if I have ever heard one.

It is also one of the thoughts that has crossed my mind

But there are so many of them that it requires too much energy to focus upon one except the thought of 100 40-year planned life nuclear plants reaching their 40th birthday

But I suppose I'm just an old 'leftie', tree-hugging, eco-nut piece of shit

Oh, well---------------------------------------------

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 23:36 | 1423510 jse111
jse111's picture

Well folks the good news is that Cesium 137's half life of 30-years is far less than Plutonium 239's half life of 24100 years.  The bad news is that a 30-year half life of an ingested radioactive substance in any significant quantity is potentially a death sentence.

Additionally, the greater Tokyo metropolitan area holds in general terms 25% of Japan's total population.  Furthermore, the demographics of Tokyo are markedly younger than Japan's mean age calculation.  Younger individuals are progressively more sensitive to radiation's devastating effects than the Weekend at Bernie's set.

For those that suggested early on that the entire island required evacuation, you appear far less histrionic as this catastrophic incident develops.  Lastly, Arnie Gundersen has reported that technology to rid ground water of radiation contamination does not currently exist and likely will not for at least 10-years and probably longer.

I am not expert enough to offer remedial suggestions other than departure while still able appears prudent in context.  I sincerely wish I could do more.

Why must it be this way!


Mon, 07/04/2011 - 00:58 | 1423582 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

Excellent points jse.

As one of the early histericalists, i feel horribly vindicated. And this is when the "truth" is still really deeply hidden.

Why must it be this way?

Cycles. Plain and simple and irresistable.



Mon, 07/04/2011 - 04:34 | 1423721 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

No, not cycles, but this:

The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft'intered in their bones.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 00:58 | 1423583 alexdg
alexdg's picture

The good news is that this is actually old news, so part of that half-life has already passed by, only 24100 years minus 2 weekes to go!

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 01:51 | 1423623 donpaulo
donpaulo's picture

basically 70% of Japanese live on 30% of the land.


They have also found radioactive contamination in things like new concrete, sewage and in Shizuoka green tea which is over 150 Km SW from Tokyo.

They are also finding children's uric acid at higher than normal rates from what they consume. Namely green leafy veggies, mushrooms and root veggies.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 04:36 | 1423722 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

It's time they switch over to cheese doodles and MacDonalds. There's a reason the US is number 1, and that's our diet.

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 02:27 | 1423654 oldman
oldman's picture

Where am I going to run to when the rest of these 40 year-old nuclear plants with a 40 year life start to come apart?

This is still the big story of the century or-----well, who knows how long?

Fire, wind, rain, snow, earthquakes, operator error, bad materials, etc. to the unknown-----I'm fascinated by the universe's idea of justice

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 16:24 | 1425031 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

The multi-versus idea of Justice Just Is.



Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:05 | 1423398 VyseLegendaire
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Right.  So Japan is gonna go fetch these with its non-existant robotics and offshore drilling capabilities.  Laff.

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:07 | 1423402 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Yeah, because they've never come up the learning curve faster than any nation in history or anything.


Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:16 | 1423417 Vlad Tepid
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Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:26 | 1423421 VyseLegendaire
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Japan once was a nation capable of that.  Now, generations of wealth has been squandered and the nation's posterity has little to show for it than the government's ubiquitous conceit.

I don't see Japan overcoming its current woes without developing some real sense of unity in overthrowing their entrenched kleptocracy, like with the US.

Where is Japan's new Boshin War?

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 23:46 | 1423516 Vlad Tepid
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The same place the original Boshin War was in 1850...not yet fomented.  Whether Dan-no-Ura, Sekigahara, Boshin, or Nagasaki, Japan has to let it get black hole-level dark before it starts to look for a sunrise.  Apparently, it's not bad enough (yet).

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:36 | 1423400 snowball777
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"We estimate that an area of just one square kilometre, surrounding one of the sampling sites, could provide one-fifth of the current annual world consumption of these elements."


A reprieve from the sun and 200k years worth of REMs...don't squander this monkeys.


Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:10 | 1423403 kito
kito's picture

lets hope they dont make the same find with new homes that are "under water". it will really sink the housing market.

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:09 | 1423406 tmosley
tmosley's picture

lol, and how are they planning to mine the sea floor?  I would have thought that everyone knew that the seafloor was extremely rich in many different types of minerals, but we just don't have the technology to mine there.  But then, maybe we could call the guys from the Deep Core, and their pals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Abyss) to give us a hand.

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:35 | 1423432 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

We probably know more about the lunar surface (not to mention that, & this point, VOYAGER must be somewhere between the Kuiper Belt & the Oort Cloud) than we kno about the seafloor (nevermind what's under it)...

We'd probably need some "unobtanium" to find out (but as the case may be - it's an effin' RARE EARTH)...




Sun, 07/03/2011 - 23:03 | 1423477 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Hey! Perfect spot for B.P. Look at all the great experience they have at this deep water stuff.   Milestones

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 00:52 | 1423576 Baptiste Say
Baptiste Say's picture

Commision a drill ship, drill down, cement a casing and inject salt water (of which there is clearly plenty given you are on the ocean) which will force REM ore to the surface, collect, ship onshore, process, sell...


Obviously not viable for heavier minerals but for high value-weight ratio samples like rare earth metals it probably is.

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:11 | 1423407 bob_dabolina
bob_dabolina's picture

I'm short silver, and isn't slv a rare earth element?


Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:38 | 1423437 francis_sawyer
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Don't worry... Sean Corrigan has your back (he thinks it's going to $26 - tho u nee to use your secret spy cryptographical DECODER ring to figure it out)...

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:14 | 1423414 sabra1
sabra1's picture

since that bin laden guy is down there, maybe he can verify this find!

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 04:39 | 1423725 Escapeclaws
Escapeclaws's picture

Full fathom five bin Laden lies...

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:18 | 1423418 nonclaim
nonclaim's picture

Rare earths were never rare as in "hard to find" but in "hard to separate" from the minerals it is in. Since China does not care about work conditions or environmental impacts they could offer huge amounts at very low cost and did it to put everybody else out of work. Then they tried to drive the price up, which killed their only advantage... while making clear you cannot rely on them as the sole supplier...

It is good to find this deposit but there's plenty of sources on land, always cheaper to mine, waiting for a reasonable price to make it worth the investment.

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:36 | 1423435 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

 That was a "Very astute comment" nonclaim. And also very accurate!   +1

Sun, 07/03/2011 - 22:44 | 1423453 francis_sawyer
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Aww fuck...

& I just got busy dusting off my 1970's ROCK TUMBLER thinking I was going to strike it rich!


Sun, 07/03/2011 - 23:39 | 1423514 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

Now if the seabed would be so good as to sort all those -dymiums into separate piles for us...

Mon, 07/04/2011 - 01:11 | 1423597 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

And greatly reduce its pressure

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