Japan Starts Mining Hydrothermal Deposits

Japan has carried out the world’s first mining and lift test of hydrothermal deposits at about 1,600 meters depth in the ocean near Okinawa, the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) confirmed earlier this week.

The success of this test, which reportedly extracted zinc and other metals, should be a major step toward establishing the technologies required for ocean mineral resource development.

In addition to the results of this test, Japan plans to carry out economic evaluation such as resource amount assessment and environmental survey. According to the Ministry, the first test confirmed that there is no serious influence on the surrounding environment.

“We are planning to comprehensively promote efforts towards commercialization of submarine hydrothermal deposits by promoting economic evaluation and environmental investigation,” the Ministry said in a statement.

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