Deep-sea deposits in Japan
The Japanese government is looking to mine the rich seafloor deposits bordering its country by commercializing the endeavour by the 2020s.
Japan has relied on imports to meet demand for mineral resources like copper, lead, gold and silver since many domestic mines were shut down at the end of the 1970s.
An exploratory research robot, owned by Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), retrieved six samples of ore with copper concentrations 15 to 30 times higher than those typically mined in South America. JOGMEC has discovered two seafloor deposits near the main Okinawa island since 2013 in addition to the one off Kumejima. It said all three finds have high potential.