|As much as 38.5 million tonnes of copper ore reserves were discovered in Tibet, Xinjiang and Yunnan last year, Chinese state-controlled Xinhua news agency said.
Addressing the inaugural session of a three-day Sixth International Conference of Tibet Support Groups last week, the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama said "ecological, culture and human rights" formed the three aspects of the Tibet issue. (Photo: Tenzin Choejor/OHHDL)
Dharamsala, November 9: China plans to spend 30 billion yuan (US$4.48bn) over the next five years to explore for minerals in 21 provinces to reduce its reliance on imported mineral products, state media said.
Explorations will be launched in 21 provinces, Chinese state news agency Xinhua cited Wang Min, vice minister of China's Land and Resources Ministry, as saying.
China has become a major importer of ores and metals from around the world to feed it's robust economic growth.
"We believe China has great potential for mineral exploration," Wang said,
Wan said China is boosting domestic minerals exploration spending in an effort to reduce its reliance on international iron ore and copper markets.
Chen Renyi, director of the China Geological Survey's Department of Mineral Resources Assessment, said, over the next five years, domestic excavation should help reduce imports of copper ore, iron ore, and sylvite (potassium chloride) to less than 75%, 50%, and 60%, respectively, of the total amounts consumed in China.
The Survey said in October that more than 900 locations had been found during the past 12 years that contain mineral deposits. Of those, 5 billion tonnes of iron ore have been found in the provinces of Liaoning, Hebei, Henan, Shandong and Shanxi. However, several of these deposits are of low-grade ore, requiring China to still import large quantities of higher-grade iron ore.
Up to 38.5 million tonnes of copper ore reserves were discovered in Tibet, Xinjiang and Yunnan last year.
Just last week, addressing the inaugural session of a three-day Sixth International Conference of Tibet Support Groups at Surajkund, near Delhi, the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama said "ecological, culture and human rights issues" formed the three main aspects of the Tibetan issue.
Emphasizing the ecological aspect of the issue, the Dalai Lama said more than a billion people in the region depend on the water that comes from rivers that originate on the Tibetan plateau. He also said that ecological scientists, including that of Chinese experts have dubbed the Tibetan plateau as the "Third Pole", stressing that the ecological status of the Tibetan plateau as being as important as that of the North or the South poles.