China finds USD 100 bn mineral deposits in Tibet

102 types of mineral were discovered in Tibet worth USD 100 billion.

Updated: Dec 06, 2010, 19:15 PM IST

Beijing: China continues to strike it rich
in Tibet as geologists discovered 102 types of mineral
deposits in over 3000 mine beds with an estimated value of
about USD 100 billion.

So far, over 3,000 mine beds, deposits or mineralised
sites with as many as 102 types of mineral were discovered in
Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), Chinese official media
reported, quoting officials from the regional bureau of land
and resources.

The mineral resources in the Himalayan region have an
estimated potential value up to 600 billion yuan (USD 100
billion), it said.

Among the variety of mineral reserves, Tibet is
reported to have large chromium and cuprum (copper) far higher
than other regions of mainland China.

12 other mineral reserves rank among the top five
across the whole country.

Chromium, a steely-grey, lustrous hard metal is
regarded with great interest because of its high corrosion
value, resistance and hardness while Cuprum is a mineral used
in homoeopathic medicines.

Considering the rich potential, top Chinese minerals
and metals companies have already established their presence
to explore and extract the rich deposits of the remote
region`s natural resources.

Chinese aluminium and copper giant Aluminum Corp of
China, or Chinalco has already set up its unit there, besides
Chinese miners Western Mining Co and Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd
which already started production at the Yulong copper deposit,
in south-eastern Tibet to fuel the rapidly developing Chinese
economy.

Access to the remote Tibetan areas is no longer a
problem as China has already built enormous amount of rail,
road and air infrastructure connecting TAR with the mainland.

The rapid exploration of natural resources and
development of infrastructure evoked criticism from the
Tibetan say this would benefit the main land more as it fuels
influx from the outside the region besides harming the
plateau`s fragile environment.

PTI