Tag Archives | rare earth minerals

North Korea Rising: Rare Earth Mineral Reserves Rival China

Picture: Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Via Russia Times:

The impoverished, isolationist nation of North Korea may be on the way to becoming even more of a geo-political hotspot than it already is with the discovery of enormous deposits of rare earth minerals. As demands rise and nations scramble to take their piece of the rare earth pie, Pyongyang might find itself in a position of unheralded economic strength. Or the next war-torn battlefield…

North Korea’s is set to have the world’s second-largest magnesite reserves, and its tungsten deposits are almost the world’s sixth-largest. The country also holds sizeable deposits of coal, iron ore, gold, zinc, copper, limestone, molybdenum, and graphite.

About 40% of the 138 Chinese companies registered as doing business in North Korea in 2010, are engaged in extracting minerals, according to the U.S. Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

Rich rare earths deposits are considered the most lucrative piece of the North Korean resource pie.

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As Greenland Ice Melts, A New Front Opens in the Resource Wars

Raw Story

As the world’s supply of precious rare earth minerals continue to dwindle, industrial nations scramble to find – and in some cases, monopolize – new potential sources. Raw Story reports that Greenland’s melting arctic ice could expose new deposits of the precious minerals. However, getting to them could be difficult.

The scramble for the Arctic is part of a bigger pattern, a looming resource crunch that connects commuters delayed by stolen power lines to vanishing manhole covers across Europe – a crunch fuelled by severe pressure on key commodities across the world. Rapid economic growth in large developing nations – China, India, Brazil and others – along with growing urbanisation and a swelling global population set to top 9 billion have made unprecedented demands on natural resources. In the past few years, we have seen a series of food crises, soaring fossil fuel prices and hikes in the cost of key traditional raw materials such as iron, steel and copper, as well as the rare earths.

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