Large Amount Of Rare Earth Metal That Enhances EVs Found

5 years ago by Mike Buchanan 2

The rare earth element Dysprosium helps the magnet properties in high-temperature EV drive trains. Picture and information courtesy of Taiwan Rare Earth

Yesterday, the Kyodo News from Japan release an article about the discovery of a large amount of Dysprosium, a rare earth element that is used to enhance theĀ capabilitiesĀ of motor magnets in EVs. Found off the coast of Minamitorishima Island, the easternmost island belonging to Japan, Japanese researchers are saying that an estimated 6.8 million tons exist in the muddy ocean floor.

Minamitorishima Island is only .5 square miles of land area

According to Yasuhiro Kato, an expert in earth resources from the University of Tokyo, the amount found would be equal to the current domestic consumption of Dysprosium, a common mineral found in EVs. Although China currently dominates the market for supplying Dysprosium, this would be the largest amount found within the Japanese waters.

The biggest issue? This rare metal is located 1,000 miles away from Tokyo and 18,400 feet deep under water. Currently, Japan has the ability to collect over 15,000 tons of ocean floor per day, but extracting the Dysprosium and transporting this element might cause some challenges with its location off the coast off such a small island.

To learn more about the research done by the Japanese researchers, take a look at this article from the Japan Foreign Policy Observation page.

2 responses to "Large Amount Of Rare Earth Metal That Enhances EVs Found"

  1. Elmer Fittery says:

    Collecting rare earth metals ( in oxide form ) at 18000 feet can not currently be done.

  2. Mike Buchanan says:

    Elmer, that is correct. According to the article massive funding and technology need to be found in order to drill at such a depth. Although if this amount was found on land, drilling could be accomplished, but would require a huge investment.