Largest known rare earth deposit discovered in North Korea
Is this the real reason for the North Korean crisis? Oil, a pipeline, and ancient artifacts was the reason for the gulf wars!
Mining.Com – Privately-held SRE Minerals on Wednesday announced the discovery in North Korea of what is believed to be the largest deposit of rare earth elements anywhere in the world.
SRE also signed a joint venture agreement with the Korea Natural Resources Trading Corporation for rights to develop REE deposits at Jongju in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for the next 25 years with a further renewal period of 25 years.
The joint venture company known as Pacific Century Rare Earth Mineral Limited, based in the British Virgin Islands, has also been granted permission for a processing plant on site at Jongju, situated approximately 150 km north-northwest of the capital of Pyongyang.
The initial assessment of the Jongju target indicates a total mineralisation potential of 6 billion tonnes with total 216.2 million tonnes rare-earth-oxides including light REEs such as lanthanum, cerium and praseodymium; mainly britholite and associated rare earth minerals. Approximately 2.66% of the 216.2 million tonnes consists of more valuable heavy rare-earth-elements.
According Dr Louis Schurmann, Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and lead scientist on the project, the Jongju deposit is the world’s largest known REE occurrence.
The 216 million tonne Jongju deposit, theoretically worth trillions of dollars, would more than double the current global known resource of REE oxides which according to the US Geological Survey is pegged at 110 million tonnes.
Minerals like fluorite, apatite, zircon, nepheline, feldspar, and ilmenite are seen as potential by-products to the mining and recovery of REE at Jongju.