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N. Korea has lots of key mineral deposits: report

All Headlines 17:24 April 30, 2012

SEOUL, April 30 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has ample key mineral deposits such as anthracite coal, magnesite and uranium, a pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan reported Monday.

The North is estimated to have 15 billion tons of anthracite coal, a key mineral Pyongyang uses to produce steel, the Choson Sinbo newspaper said.

The North also has an estimated 5.4 billion tons of magnesite in Tanchon, a home to mines in South Hamgyong province, and other areas, according to the newspaper.

North Korea is set to open Tanchon as a modern trade port, the newspaper said, without giving any specific time frame for the opening.

North Korean officials have stressed that construction of a modern trade port in the Tanchon area is a significant part of the national goal of building an economically powerful nation.

South Korean analysts have said a unified Korea could tap into the natural resources of the North in the event of unification.

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