South Pyongan coal mines

From Global Energy Monitor

The South Pyongan coal mines are a cluster of mining complexes, producing approximately 10-15 million tonnes per annum, in the South Pyongan coalfields, North Korea.[1][2]

The largest mine complexes include the Anju Coal Mining Complex, Ryongun-ri, Ramjo-dong, and Namdok. These provide coal for domestic supply and export via the Nampo coal port, Rajin coal port, Sunchon coal port, and Ryongchon coal port.[3]


The map below shows the location of the Ramjo-dong mining complex in the South Pyongan coal field in North Korea.[3]

Loading map...


According to Makowsky et. al, for 38 North, "The South Pyongan coal fields are estimated to hold deposits of approximately 1.23 billion tons of anthracite coal. In commercial satellite imagery of the Ryongun-ri, Ramjo-dong, and Namdok mining areas, there is a distinguishable increase in activity between 2015 to the present. Based on the imagery available, there has been notable growth of spoil piles around these mines, indicating active mining processes. There are also growing piles of coal on the ground and trucks seen consistently moving between the mines to rail and transfer stations and depots. Of the ten smaller and six larger mining complexes examined in this region, a number of the larger mines appear to be active while many of the smaller mines have been shut down."

"While the country has traditionally valued coal more as a trading commodity than a source for domestic power production, Kim Jong Un did instruct in his 2019 New Year’s address that coal should be redirected into the domestic market to better meet the country’s energy needs and work toward energy self-sufficiency. Still, efforts to circumvent sanctions, especially on coal exports, are likely to persist, and thus monitoring the coal industry and its supply-chain infrastructure and activities must continue."

Mine Details

  • Sponsor: Government of North Korea
  • Parent company:
  • Location: South Pyongan, North Korea[3]
  • GPS coordinates: 39.79482, 126.02825[3]
  • Status: Operating
  • Production Capacity: 10-15 MTPA[1]
  • Total Resource: 1.23 billion tonnes[3]
  • Mineable Reserves:
  • Coal Type: Anthracite[3]
  • Mine Size:
  • Mine Type: Underground
  • Start Year:
  • Source of Financing:
  • Permits and Applications:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 BGR Energy Study 2019 - Data and developments in German and global energy supply
  2. Susan Wacaster, The Mineral Industry of North Korea: 2013, US Geological Service, US Department of the Interior, July 2015, page 2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Peter Makowsky, Jenny Town, and Samantha Pitz, A Snapshot of North Korea’s Supply Chain Coal Activity, 38 North, March 8, 2019

Related articles

External resources