SEOUL, April 18 South Korea said the country's
private and public investments in six major minerals were
estimated to reach $1.3 billion this year, up 22 percent from
last year, thanks to economic recovery.
Asia's fourth-largest economy expected its self-development
rate for coal, uranium, iron ore, copper, zinc and nickel to be
27 percent, compared with 25.1 percent last year, the Ministry
of Knowledge Economy said in a statement on Sunday.
"The investment could hit $1.4-$1.5 billion if favourable
market conditions allow more investment through mergers and
acquisitions," the ministry said, referring to this year's
It said the country's self-development rate for strategic
metals had increased because of stake acquisitions in new
mines, and production increases in existing mines, while the
rate for copper had decreased as a result of lower production.
The government planned to help raise investments in Africa,
and Central and South America, which have rare metal reserves,
as risk probability in supply and demand was higher than those
for other natural resources, the statement said.
In one of the latest major deals, a consortium led by
state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) (015760.KS)
said last December it would invest 300 billion won ($270.5
million) to buy a 10 percent stake in a uranium mine in Niger
to raise the country's uranium self-development rate.