Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Japan unearths rare metals needed to make batteries

Japan unearths rare metals needed to make batteries

Japan unearths rare metals needed to make batteries

A Japanese government agency dealing with natural resources has announced the successful excavation of rare metals including cobalt and nickel from the seabed of the country’s exclusive economic zone.

Domestic rare metal production has been a pressing issue for Japan as the nation is highly dependent on China for such metals that are essential to lithium-ion battery production.

The seabed mining site is located about 900m below sea level, off the southern coast of the Pacific island of Minami-Torishima.

The Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), commissioned by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, last month excavated about 650kg of cobalt-rich crust, a mineral deposit containing the rare metal.

JOGMEC reported that through its excavation research, it discovered the area containing enough cobalt to meet Japan’s demand for about 88 years and enough nickel for about 12 years.

Cobalt and nickel are essential materials for lithium-ion batteries, which are used in electric cars and other vehicles.

Japan has relied on imports of such highly scarce metals for almost the entirety of its domestic consumption.

With the advent of the ultra-fast 5G communication standard, the use of these materials in communications equipment is also rapidly increasing, and their trading prices are rising worldwide.

Domestic rare metal production will also help to strengthen the competitiveness of Japan’s domestic industry.

The ministry has plans to inspect the drilling technology with an aim toward mass production, saying the excavation’s success is a big step toward the domestic production of rare metals.

THE YOMIURI SHIMBUN (JAPAN)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Angkor photo rules clarified

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) denied that it had banned the use of camera tripods in the Angkor Archaeological Park, explaining that the confusion stemmed from a long-standing rule which required commercial photographers and videographers to apply for permission to film. The explanation followed a

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At