9 July 2024
by Alex Brinded

Massive manganese resource on seafloor around Japanese atoll

The Nippon Foundation reports 230Mt of manganese nodules – rich in rare metals – in waters around Minamitorishima Island.

© The Nippon Foundation

The Nippon Foundation and the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Engineering have found the waters around Minamitorishima – the most easterly of Japanese islands – to have rare metals distributed in high density over a wide area.

The cobalt resources are said to equate to more than 75 years' worth of Japan's annual consumption, while the nickel resources equal more than 11 years.

Since June 2023, the Foundation has been conducting a demonstration test of manganese nodule lifting.

A preliminary survey involved a 47-day research voyage from late April 2024.

This included a detailed survey of resource volume and distribution, as well as basic surveys for envrionmental impact assessments.

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Alex Brinded

Staff Writer