India has announced this week that it will soon be searching the sea bed for rare earths as a matter of strategic priority.
Ashwani Kumar, minister of state for planning, science and technology said in a press conference this week that "India is to create its strategic presence in the field of deep sea mining.
He added that China, the US, Korea and Russia are the only countries that have so far ventured into this area. They are maintaining their presence in the high seas by claiming to undertake deep sea mining," he said.
India, which plans to use three specially designed vessels for its deep sea exploration plans, claims it has the capability to mine the ocean bed at a depth of 6,000m.
The search will involve a 2,500 km in international waters with the approval of the International Sea Bed Authority.
Deep sea mining...