Seabed mineral deposits found


New hydrothermal mineral deposits have been discovered at the bottom of the sea 130 km northwest of Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, officials said.

A layer of hydrothermal mineral deposits found by the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp. exploration vessel Hakurei is believed to be large and filled with copper, lead, zinc and other minerals, the officials said Sunday. It may also contain rare metals.

The vessel made the discovery while surveying the area in January and February at the request of the trade ministry, they said, adding that JOGMEC plans to draw up a report on the layer this month.

Near the site, Japan earlier confirmed the presence of 3.4 million tons of deposits in the seabed at a depth of 1,600 meters.