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Overseas Firms 'Can Bid' in the Largest Gold Mine
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Domestic, as well as overseas, companies can bid for the exploration rights of China's largest potential gold mine.


The gold deposit in Yangshan, Gansu Province, has at least 160 tons in proven reserve, Xiong Bilin, deputy director of National Development and Reform Commission's industry department, said yesterday.


The company with the latest and best technology that can ensure minimum wastage of the precious metal is likely to win the bid.


Without giving a specific date for the floating of tenders, Xiong said: "Any company from home and abroad, as long as it has the mining technology and is able to work out a detailed mining plan without harming the environment, can take part in the bid."


The gold deposit could be more than 200 tons, said a People's Daily report earlier, and is in a convenient area with a national highway passing near it.


The NDRC website says gold deposits, with 50 or more tons of reserves, have also been discovered in Zhaishang in Gansu and Damoqujia and Jinchang in Shandong and Heilongjiang provinces.


China produces 224 tons of gold a year, but last year it consumed more than 400 tons. The top three gold producing provinces are Shandong, accounting for 27 percent of the country's total, Henan (14 percent) and Fujian (8 percent).


In the first six months of this year, China produced 122 tons of gold, up 15 percent year-on-year, NDRC said. Also, the gold industry's gross value of products of about 32 billion yuan (US$4.2 billion) - up 44 percent - made a profit of 3.5 billion yuan (US$460 million).


In the first six months, the average global gold price reached US$656 an ounce, breaking the 1980 record of US$614 an ounce.


(China Daily July 18, 2007)


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