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Iron Ore Deposits Found on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau
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China's newest geographic survey on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, dubbed as the Roof of the World, has led to finding of three large iron-rich ore deposits, a senior survey official said in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, on Saturday.


"Each of the three deposits boasts a potential reserve of more than 50 million tons, with that of the largest exceeding 100 million tons," said Zhang Hongtao, deputy director of the China Geological Survey Bureau.


China produced 29 percent of world steel in 2004, but 90 percent of the iron ore it needs has to be imported due to short of resources, which forced the country to accept a 71.5-percent rise in the iron ore price this spring.


The newly found iron ore deposits are expected to help ease domestic supply and boost the development of China's vast west region.


Zhang disclosed at a meeting on their survey results that the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is also rich in oil resources, with potential reserve estimated at more than 10 billion tons.


Widely recognized as the world's third pole, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau covers an area of 1.52 million square kilometers, almost one sixth of China's territory.


The geochemical survey of the vast plateau filled the last blank in the medium scale geochemistry map of the country's land. Some 1,000 geologists from 24 organizations and institutions have been working on the often snow-capped plateau for the past seven years on the survey project, which was completed in September.


(Xinhua News Agency December 24, 2005)

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