Korea Resources Corp., the state-run mineral explorer, agreed with three companies to build a 120 billion won ($106 million) ferronickel plant in Korea to help ensure supplies of the raw material used in stainless steel.
The plant to be built in Donghae, east of the capital Seoul, will produce 75,000 metric tons per year of the ferro-alloy starting from 2012, the Seoul-based company said at a news briefing today. Korea Resources will own a 25 percent stake in the venture. Korean companies Enertec Co. and Union Corp. will hold a combined 51 percent and an unidentified Singaporean company, which will supply ore materials, the remainder.
South Korea, which imports almost all its energy and minerals needs, is increasing spending on resource projects to secure supplies as raw material prices gain.
“Mineral resources are a competitive strength for national industry and have an influence on national security,” said Kim Shin Jong, Chief Executive Officer of Korea Resources. “Securing mineral resources, including rare metals, is a very urgent and important task.”
South Korea needs about 300,000 tons of ferro-nickel, which is also used in specialty steel, a year, and imports half the requirement, Korea Resources said.
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