SEOUL, Mar. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — The two Koreas’ joint development of North Korean major mines, if implemented, is expected to create more than 90,000 jobs in the two Koreas 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 at 2.8 percent.
The institute estimated the projects will require investment of US$11.54 billion. The combined sales are projected to be $10.63 billion per year, with operating profits of $3.19 billion.
The estimates of the sales and investments, however, are based on the condition that international sanctions on the movement of the North’s trade in natural resources, implemented by the U.N. Security Council to counter its nuclear and missile developments, be lifted.
In addition to the facility investments 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.