200 Million Year-Old Karst Cave to Open to Visitors

Jinyi Group signed a contract Saturday with Fuyang city in east China's Zhejiang Province involving 50 million yuan (about 6 million US dollars) of investment for the protection and tourism development of Asia's largest karst cave.

The main part of the cave is as large as 23,300 sq.m. with white and dark blue limestone stalactites hanging overhead.

An on-site study in 1997 showed that people had tried in vain to open the cave before, fortunately, no damage had been caused.

Experts said the cave has many peculiarities; for example, stones in some areas are transparent, totally different from others around them, and an interior waterway flowing to an unidentified place so far.

The cave, formed over 200 million years old ago, was first discovered by five farmers in Fuyang in 1983.

Jinyi Group is a well-known private enterprise in the province.

(Xinhua 02/18/2001)