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China finds big gold mine
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China National Gold Group Corporation (CNGGC) said on Monday it had found a new vein with an estimated 15 tonnes of gold at one of its mines.

The Na Neng gold mine in southwestern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region was previously thought to have a proven reserve of 5 tonnes, an unnamed official with the country's leading gold producer, manufacturer and trader told Xinhua.

The country currently has 330 large-scale gold mines nationwide, with a daily output of 11,000 tonnes.

The CNGGC announced earlier the Ministry of Finance had provided it with 47.75 million yuan (6.96 million U.S. dollars) from the 2008 central budget in a bid to help it prospect new mines.

This year, China surpassed the United States to become the world's second largest gold producer behind South Africa. In 2007, its gold output reached 270.491 tonness, up 12.67 percent year on year.

To further boost the gold trade market and make gold resources more accessible to individual investors, Beijing Equity Exchange launched a gold trading center last weekend.

Gold bars can now be traded over-the-counter between buyers and sellers.

Qiu Hanyi, a Jingyi Futures Co. Ltd. analyst, said gold prices were expected to continue rising amid surging oil prices in the world market and domestic inflation pressure.

"But investors should still keep alert to the trading risks," the analyst said.

China's gold consumption had presented a strong growth momentum in recent years. Sales in China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan, hit a record 363.3 tonnes last year.

Gold resources were estimated at 15,000 tons to 20,000 tons nationwide. Its proven gold reserves ranked seventh worldwide.

(Xinhua News Agency July 7, 2008)

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