China says a large uranium mine discovered

China, which has undertaken a big expansion of nuclear power generation, has been boosted by the discovery of a large uranium deposit in the northern regions.

Beijing: China, which has undertaken a big expansion of nuclear power generation, has been boosted by the discovery of a large uranium deposit in the northern regions.

The mine, ranking as the country`s largest leaching sandstone-type uranium deposit identified so far, was found in central Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, state-run Xinhua quoted an announcement by the Ministry of Land and Resources as saying today.

The discovery, which makes the site one of the world`s top uranium mines, has great significance for boosting domestic uranium supplies and ensuring energy sources for developing nuclear power, the ministry said, without elaborating on the mine`s size.

The site was discovered along with a "super-size" coal mine, the reserve of which was estimated at 51 billion tonnes, the ministry said.

The discovery underlines the country`s efforts to promote combined exploration of coal and uranium in a bid to save investment, it said.

A 500-strong team consisting of technicians and constructors from nuclear power companies and related government departments has been deployed in the 10-month exploration after the site was tested for radioactivity during drilling.

In 2008, China discovered its first 10,000-ton level leaching sandstone-type uranium deposit in the Yili basin in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

China, a major importer of uranium recently said it has given green signal to resume construction of a small number of the 40 new nuclear plants, lifting a ban after Fukoshima disaster.

China also has an elaborate nuclear weapons programme.

PTI

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