During the past 12 years, Chinese scientists have discovered more than 900 locations containing mineral deposits which are estimated to hold 5 billion tons of iron ore, as well as a vast array of other resources, the country's geological authorities said Saturday.
The large number of discoveries, including newly found reserves of iron and copper ores, coal, gas, and other types of raw minerals, came after a major geological mapping was launched in 1999, officials with the China Geological Survey (CGS) said at a press conference held in Beijing Saturday.
The CGS is a government-owned non-profit entity directly under the Ministry of Land and Resources.
Among the discoveries, 152 locations were identified as holding huge amounts of deposits. These findings would pave the way for future development and reduce the risks for commercial prospecting for resources, a statement from the CGS website said.
Five deposits in the provinces of Liaoning, Hebei, Henan, Shandong and Shanxi in East and North China could potentially hold reserves of 5 billion tons of iron ore, according to officials.
Meanwhile, up to 38.5 million tons of copper ore reserves were also discovered in Tibet, Xinjiang and Yunnan. CGS Director and Vice Minister of the Land and Resources, Wang Min, said these findings would "effectively change" China's over-reliance on imports of copper ores.
Further, 450 million tons of bauxite deposits were discovered in China's Shanxi, Henan, Guizhou and Guangxi. Also, the Qaidam Basin in Northwest China's Qinghai province was estimated to hold up to 214 million tons of sylvite reserves.