There were 213 mid to large-sized mineral deposits discovered in China during 2006, including 85 metals resource deposits and 42 energy mineral deposits, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources.
Last year, the country had a total of 7.9 million tonnes of proven copper reserves in the Tibet Autonomous Region’s Qulongdong copper deposit, 4.37 million tonnes of copper reserves in the Pulang copper deposit in Yunnan Province, and 2.22 million tonnes of lead and zinc reserves in the Wulagen deposit in Xinjiang Autonomous Region’s county of Wuqia.
Also discovered was 500,000 tonnes of prospective molybdenum reserves in Heilongjiang Province’s Yichun-Yanshou Region, 119.5 million tonnes of prospective bauxite reserves in Guangxi Autonomous Region’s Youjiang Region, 600,000 tonnes of tungsten and tin prospective reserves in the Xitian tin deposit in Hunan Province, as well as a high-grade iron ore mine in the Tibetan Nyixung Region, according to the bulletin.
In 2006, much progress was made in attracting foreign investors in mineral resource prospecting and mining, with a total of 249 prospecting permits and 194 mining permits granted to foreign investor-involved projects, such as the Xietongmen copper-gold deposit in Tibet and the Zhengguang gold and zinc deposit in Heilongjiang Province.
Chinese mining companies also made achievements in prospecting and mining for nonferrous resources such as copper, nickel and bauxite, as well as overseas precious metals in cooperation with international mining companies.
By the end of 2006, there were 26,059 prospecting permits for mineral resources and 117,910 mining permits nationwide, among which 6,129 prospecting permits and 16,032 mining permits were issued in 2006.
The bulletin shows increased domestic production of major mineral products over 2006, with raw coal output of 2.38 billion tonnes, 184 million tonnes of crude oil, iron ore production reaching 558 million tonnes, and that of 10 major nonferrous metals reaching a combined total of 19.17 million tonnes. The 10 major nonferrous metals are copper, aluminum, lead, zinc, nickel, tin, antimony, magnesium, titanium and mercury.
Import and export turnover of mineral products reached $383.9 billion in 2006, accounting for 21.6% of the nation’s total, which included the imports of 145.18 million tonnes crude oil, 326.32 million tonnes of iron ore, 6.21 million tonnes of manganese ore, 4.32 million tonnes of chromite ore and 3.63 million tonnes of copper ore.