Mineral deposits may solve Japan natural resource shortage

BY JULIAN RYALL

Japan Correspondent

TOKYO — Japan has successfully mined zinc, gold, silver, copper and lead from hydrothermal mineral deposits more than 5,200 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, a world first that might help to solve the country’s shortage of natural resources.

Operated by the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., the research vessel Hakurei used a large pump to collect more than 16 tons of mineral-bearing rock off the coast of Okinawa.

The rock is high in valuable mineral deposits as a result of seawater seeping deep into the geological . . .

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