Chinese joint venture company takes over Hyesan Youth Copper Mine

Pictured above (Google Earth): Hyesan Youth Copper Mine.  See in Google Maps here.

According to Xinhua (China):

Hyesan-China Joint Venture Mineral Company, a large joint project between China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), started operation at Hyesan of Ryanggang province on Monday.

The mineral company was jointly set up by Wanxiang Resources Limited Company of China and the Ministry of Mining Industries of the DPRK on Nov. 1, 2007. Its main business was to produce and sell copper.

DPRK Mining Industries Minister Kang Min Chol and Chinese ambassador Liu Hongcai attended the opening ceremony.

Kim Chol, chairman of the people’s committee of the Ryanggang province, said at the ceremony that the joint venture was one of the symbols of the development of the DPRK-China friendship and would be a model of modernization, science and economic benefits.

Liu believed the company would make profits for both sides, benefit the two peoples and promote traditional China-DPRK friendship.

According to Reuters:

The mine was located a few miles from the Chinese city of Changbai in the northeastern province of Jilin and was 51 percent owned by Wanxiang, a source with direct knowledge of the project told Reuters on Tuesday.

The mine had a designed annual capacity of 50,000-70,000 tonnes of copper concentrate, expected to contain 20-30 percent copper, he added.

“All the concentrate will be sold to China,” the source said.

The source said the joint venture would conduct second-phase construction to expand the capacity of the mine if production ran smoothly, but did not give details on timing or expanded capacity.

China is the world’s top copper consumer but does not produce sufficient concentrate to meet demand. The country imported 3.4 million tonnes of copper concentrate in the first seven months of 2011, down 11 percent from a year earlier.

According to KCNA:

The Hyesan Youth Mine in Ryanggang Province was successfully updated as required by the new century.

The workers and technicians of the mine together with Chinese technicians and skilled workers completed the vast modernization project and successively ensured their commissioning.

The modernization of various production processes including mining, carriage and ore dressing made it possible to boost mineral production and thus contribute to economic development and the improvement of the standard of people’s living.

A ceremony for the completion of the modernization project at the Hyesan Youth Mine and the Hyesan-China Joint Venture Mineral Company was held on Monday.

Present there were Kang Min Chol, minister of Mining Industry, Kim Hi Thaek and officials concerned, Liu Hongcai, Chinese ambassador to the DPRK, and staff members of his embassy and Han Youhong, president of the Wanxiang Resources Co., Ltd. of China, and personages concerned.

Ri Mun Yong, manager of the Ryanggang Provincial Mining Complex, made an address to be followed by congratulatory and other speeches.

At the end of the ceremony, the participants went round production processes.

That day a reception was given in connection with the ceremony.

Although foreign investors and aid groups frequently build/ repair / upgrade North Korea’s state owned enterprises, it is rare that they are given any credit for their work in the official media.

Previous posts about the Hyesan Mine:
1. Poor electricity supply (2011-5-16)

3. Mine is flooded (2007-11-1)

4. China investing in mine (2007-4-12)

5. Chinese investing in mine (2006-12-24)

Additional mining information:
1. DPRK – China minerals for food program (2011-8-19)

2. DPRK looking to export rare earths (2011-7-23)

3. DPRK – China trade: 1995 – 2009 (2011-6-7)

4. Increase in DPRK’s mineral resources exports to China expected again for this year (2011-2-28)

5. DPRK – China mining deal (2011-2-6)

6. China expanding mining rights in DPRK (2010-1-15)

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