Among the 171 kinds of minerals which have been discovered in China so far, the reserves of 156 kinds have been proven, Tian Fengshan, minister of land and resources, said here Saturday.
He said this at a seminar marking the publishing of a series of books on geology and a stamp album featuring geological exploration.
Tian said there are around 20,000 mines across the country and China is one of a few countries with widespread mineral resources and rich mineral reserves.
Chinese experts also know the distribution of the country's underground water resources, and the knowledge enable them to relieve water shortages in some poverty and dry areas, according to Tian.
Statistics show 90 percent of energy and 80 percent of industrial raw materials come from mineral resources.
The development of minerals has been given much attention since the founding of new China, and geological exploration has made remarkable achievements over past five decades and boosted national economic growth, experts say.
Proven mineral reserves in China account for 12 percent of the world's total.
(Xinhua News Agency October 12, 2002)