North Korea’s Enormous Reserves of Minerals Could Be a Game-Changer

Study discovers twice the known global deposits of rare earths

  • Share
  • Read Later

According to a recent geological study, North Korea could hold more than twice the known global deposits of rare earths — minerals used in electronics such as smartphones and high definition televisions.

If the study is verified and the deposits opened up, they could prove a game-changer for North Korea, breaking up China’s near-monopoly on the market but posing new challenges for the Pyongyang regime.

“The two conditions of [the North Korean government’s] survival, the constant crisis and the isolation which are needed for the maintenance of the regime, would be jeopardized,” said Leonid Petrov, a Korean studies researcher at the Australian National Studies University’s College of Asia and the Pacific, in an interview with Voice of America.

The country’s unexploited mineral deposits are estimated to be worth trillions. As it released the study results in December, U.K.-based private equity firm SRE Minerals also announced that it had signed a 25-year deal to develop a site in Jongju, northwest of Pyongyang, in a joint venture with state-owned Korea Natural Resources Trading Corporation.

[VoA]

2 comments
CyberPhoneix
CyberPhoneix

Kinda pointless when dealing with a country like North Korea isn't it? What good is it having any of this when you have no one to trade with. China already have one of the largest stockpiles of rare earth's. So it won't really benefit North Korea all that much. That is unless they decide to join the modern world.

JohnKovacich
JohnKovacich

SRE Minerals should be very proud of themselves for dealing with a regime like NK.