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Japanese researchers have enough reserves of rare-earth metals (REMs) to global demand for up to 700 years. Oceanographers the deep-sea mud on the Pacific Ocean floor near Japan's Ogasawara Islands, which about 2,000 kilometers southeast of Tokyo. Scientists the minerals find, "has the potential to these metals on a semi-infinite basis to the world". Researchers from Waseda University and the University of Tokyo the area they mapped more than 16 million tons of rare-earth metals. They that the area "great potential as ore deposits for some of the most critically important elements in modern society".

A rare-earth metal one of a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table. They what many of us would to relatively unknown names, like europium, promethium scandium and terbium. The uses, applications, and demand of rare-earth elements have greatly with our reliance on high-tech products. They are widely in the production of electric motors for hybrid vehicles, wind turbines, hard disc drives, portable electronics, microphones, speakers and a whole array of other products. Around 90 per cent of the world's supply of REMs to advanced electronics currently from China. The discovery near Japan could down prices.

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