Northwest China's Qinghai province plans to invest nearly 18 billion yuan (2.82 billion U.S. dollars) in the coming five years to exploit its rich mineral resources, the local government said Saturday.
According to the province's plan for geological prospecting during the 2011-2015 period, Qinghai has budgeted 17.9 billion yuan for excavating coal, iron, gold, potassium salt, copper, lead, zinc and cobalt, the provincial land and resources department said in a press release.
It said at least 10 billion yuan of the investment will be coming from mining companies and other funds, 5 billion yuan will be appropriated by the central treasury, and the remaining 2.5 billion yuan will be allocated by the provincial treasury.
The budget is more than five times the 2006-2010 spending, which totaled 3.4 billion yuan, the document said.
Qinghai province has reported new discoveries of coal, iron ore, gold and silver reserves in the past five years, and geologists see huge potentials for further excavation.
The province also boasts rich hydropower, petroleum, natural gas and non-ferrous metal resources.