Restore the Hyesan Youth Mine!

[imText1]Yanji, China — “Let’s fully restore the Hyesan Youth Mine!” ordered Kim Jong Il, according to several inside sources. The Hyesan Youth Mine was submerged during the construction of the Samsoo Hydroelectric Power Plant.

One source confirmed that the order was handed down at a New Year’s lecture for the Yangkang Province branch of the Worker’s Party. Cadres were told: “Every problem can be solved once you find a resolution.”

The Hyesan Youth Mine produced 80% of North Korea’s total copper output. Authorities believe that the mine is still capable of producing 40 years worth of copper.

In 1996, during the March of Tribulations, water filled the mine due to inactivity. The government spent 8.2 million dollars pumping out water and re-setting up the facilities.

In May of 2004, operations in the mine began anew. Authorities added an ore refinement plant and a scrap yard. But, with the construction of the Samsoo Hydroelectric Power Plant, water began to re-flood the mine.

Prior to construction, some experts noted that the ground upon which the power plant was built is comprised of limestone, which absorbs water easily.

Should North Korea be unable to resuscitate the mine, it would need to rely on copper imports. According to one source, North Korea started importing copper from Chile when the mine started flooding.

The source relayed that the Ministry of Extractive Industries and the Yangkang Provincial Party Committee created an executive group to formulate solutions to the problem.

The executive group recommended digging a cave 600 meters under the ground so the water would be rerouted. However, experts doubt the feasibility of this idea.

These experts note that the amount of water in the mine could increase if an artificial waterway is constructed.

A source said that the cadres in Yangkang Province are on pins and needles because there is no adequate technological way to restore the mine, yet they must to follow the instructions from Pyongyang.