China's gold mine reserves increased more than 650 tons in 2006, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
A recent report by the NDRC said that for the past few years in a row, the amount of China's newly confirmed gold mine reserves has been larger than that consumed in the same period.
According to the report, prospecting in Yangshan Gold Mine of northwest China's Gansu Province made considerable progress in 2006, with a confirmed total reserve of 258 tons, making it China's largest gold mine deposit.
Breakthroughs have also been made in northwest China's Qinling Gold Mine and east China's Shandong Province, China's traditional gold producing areas.
The report said that through mergers and acquisition and the closing of unsafe small mines, the number of gold mines was reduced to fewer than 1,000 in 2006. The top five gold mining enterprises produce 40 percent of the country's total gold output, and hold over half of the country's gold mine reserves.
In 2006 China produced a record high of 240.08 tons of gold, up 7.15 percent year-on-year. The annual gold production for 2007 is expected to reach 260 tons, nearly 20 tons more than last year, according to the NDRC.
(Xinhua News Agency February 18, 2007)