North Korean mines could create over 90,000 jobs

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North Korean mines could create over 90,000 jobs

The two Koreas’ joint development of North Korean mines, if implemented, is expected to create more than 90,000 jobs in both countries annually, a report by a private think tank showed Sunday.

The Seoul-based North Korea Resource Institute issued a report on the prospect of potential inter-Korean projects to develop and modernize 74 mines with commercial value out of around 700 in the North.

According to the report, such projects could create 91,310 new jobs in the two Koreas, including 18,550 in the South.

The think tank expected the development could meet 40.3 percent of the demand for coal, ore, gold and eight other mineral resources in the two Koreas. South Korea’s self-sufficiency rate in the resources is currently 2.8 percent.

The institute estimated the projects will require investment of $11.54 billion. The combined sales are projected to be $10.63 billion per year, with operating profit of $3.19 billion.

The estimates, however, are based on the condition that international sanctions on the trade of North Korea’s natural resources, implemented by the UN Security Council to counter the country’s weapons missile development, be lifted.

In addition to the facility investment in North Korean mines, the maintenance and revamping of power supply infrastructure in a dilapidated state and other facilities should be a precondition for the envisioned projects.

According to the think tank, the operating ratio at North Korean mines stands at 30 percent due to power shortages, run-down facilities and the domestic market’s limited scope.

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