2013 Top 10 Geological Survey Progresses

Top9. China discovered rare earth resources on the Pacific seafloor for the first time

Updated :03,04,2014

    From Jul 3 to Aug 16, 2013, the Ocean-6 carried out an abyssal sediment rare earth resource survey in the central waters of the Pacific, completing 30 submarine geological sampling stations in the depth of 4800-5700m. Test result indicated that the sediments contain as high as 1700ppm of rare earth elements with all-phase rare earth oxide content of 0.36%. Initial analysis shows that this rare earth has similar partitioning as the "weathering crust ion adsorption" type found in South China but the rare earth ionic phase is hardly obtained by land extraction. It is a novel type of deposit different from any other existing land ionic rare earth ores.
   So far, we have established a systematic technical and method system for abyssal rare earth resource investigation, creating a quick field testing method, which lays foundation for subsequent rare earth investigation, metallogenic law studies and resource assessment, and makes great contribution to the early development and utilization of abyssal rare earth resources.


Rare earth-bearing sediments in columnar shape          Extract of rare earth-bearing sediment