3D Modeling Approaches in Estimation of Resource and Production of Musan Iron Mine, North Korea

3차원 모델링을 활용한 북한 무산광산일대의 자원량 및 생산량 추정

  • Bae, Sungji (Department of Astronomy, Space Science, & Geology, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Yu, Jaehyung (Department of Geology and Earth Environmental Sciences, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Koh, Sang-Mo (Mineral Resources Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources) ;
  • Heo, Chul-Ho (Mineral Resources Division, Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources)
  • 배성지 (충남대학교 우주.지질학과) ;
  • 유재형 (충남대학교 지질환경과학과) ;
  • 고상모 (한국지질자원연구원 광물자원연구본부) ;
  • 허철호 (한국지질자원연구원 광물자원연구본부)
  • Received : 2015.07.18
  • Accepted : 2015.09.23
  • Published : 2015.10.28


Korea is a global steel producer and a major consumer while iron ore producing is very low compared to the demand. On the other hand, North Korea holds tremendous amount of iron reserves and, however, its producing rate is limited. Moreover, the data regarding mineral resources of North Korea is very limited and uncertain because of political isolation. This study estimated the amount of iron ore resource and production amount for the Musan Iron mine, the world-known open-pit mine of North Korea, using satellite imagery(Landsat MSS, ASTER) and digital maps between 1976 to 2007. As a result, the mining area of Musan mine was increased by $6.1km^2$ during the 30 years and the mining sector was estimated as $4.9km^2$. We estimated the iron resources and production amount of 0.7 and 0.2 billion metric tons, respectively based on 3D modeling and average iron ore density of Anshan formation in China. This amount indicates 8.1 million tons of annual average production and it coincides well with previous reports. We expect this study would be utilized significantly on inter-Korean exchange programs by providing trustable preliminary data.


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