Bloomberg News

Korea Resources to Boost Rare-Metal Reserves 382% by 2016

December 15, 2011

(Adds executive’s comments in fourth paragraph.)

Dec. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Korea Resources Corp., a state-run resource explorer, plans to boost stockpiles of rare metals including chrome 382 percent by 2016 to ensure supplies of the materials used to make high-technology goods and electronics.

Stockpiles of nine metals, also including antimony, titanium, tungsten, niobium, selenium and gallium, will likely rise to 78,400 metric tons, or 60 days of consumption, from 16,249 tons at the end of October, Kim Young Ho, leader of the stockpile and trading team, said at a conference in Seoul today.

South Korea, which relies on imports for almost all its mineral resources, has been stepping up efforts to boost stockpiles as competition for supplies increases amid rising prices. The new target is higher than a previous plan for 76,000 tons of reserves that was announced by the government last year as the company reviewed projections for demand, Kim said.

“There always remains a potential for supply disruptions with respect to rare metals,” said Kim. “Our primary purpose for stockpiling is to provide companies in need with necessary metals at the event of emergency. Prices are likely to continue rising in the long term.”

--Editors: Jake Lloyd-Smith, Richard Dobson

To contact the reporter on this story: Sungwoo Park in Seoul at spark47@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Richard Dobson at rdobson4@bloomberg.net


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