MAC: Mines and Communities

Korean Firms to Develop Myanmar Copper

Published by MAC on 2006-04-12

Korean Firms to Develop Myanmar Copper

As posted on, an Asian business network

12th April 2006

A consortium of Korean corporations in the public and private sectors will jointly develop Myanmar copper mines which contain about 1.45 billion tons of copper with a Canadian mine company. Starting late this year, about 10,000 tons of copper produced in the mines will be shipped to Korea every year. The amount is seven times that of Korea's own production through last year (1,400 tons).

A government official said yesterday that three Korean corporations, including Korea Resources Corporations (KRC), Daewoo International Corporation, and Taihan Electric Wire, and the Canada-based Ivanhoe Mines agreed on the "Development Contract of Copper Mine in the Monywa region of Myanmar." Robert Friedland, chairman of Ivanhoe Mines, visited Korea in January and exchanged a memorandum of understanding about development of the mine with KRC President Park Yang-soo. He will officially sign the contract in July.

The KRC consortium will buy 25 percent of the stake that Ivanhoe Mines owns in mines in the Monywa region for $120 million. Daewoo International Corporation will have the largest stake of 10 percent, while KRC and Taihan Electric Wire will each own a 7.5 percent stake.

There are three copper mines in the Monywa region, including Sabetaung, Kysintaung, and Letpadaung.

The estimated combined copper reserves of the three mines are about 1.45 billion tons, the largest amount among the copper mines that Korean corporations have ever developed. Ivanhoe Mines has produced 39,000 tons of copper annually from Sabetaung and Kysintaung since 1996.

The KRC consortium will ship 9,750 tons of copper, an amount matching its investment stake of 25 percent, this year. It is planning to increase the shipment up to 12,500 tons next year by expanding production to 50,000 tons.

Experts said that shipment from Monywa mines would improve the supply and demand situation of the Korean copper market.

There is a serious shortage of copper supply as the copper price recently hit a record high in the London Metal Exchange.

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