Natural Resources, Mineral Resources
Xi Jiang, Hainan Island, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, phosphate rock, Hunan Province
Mineral deposits are distributed widely throughout the country. The principal mining regions are in Northeast China, especially on the Liaodong Peninsula and in the uplands of South China.
Among metallic mineral ores, iron-ore reserves are estimated to be more than 40 billion metric tons. The largest deposits—mainly in Northeast China, northern Hebei Province, and Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region—are mostly of low quality. Some high-grade deposits of hematite (an important iron ore) occur in Liaoning and Hubei provinces. Extensive deposits have also been discovered on Hainan Island. Reserves of aluminum ores, occurring mainly in Liaoning and Shandong provinces, are estimated at more than 1 billion metric tons. Tin reserves, found primarily in Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, are perhaps as much as 2 million metric tons. The country’s production of refined tin amounts to about one-quarter of the world’s output. China holds the world’s largest reserves of antimony, magnesite, and tungsten. Antimony is found mainly in Hunan Province, magnesite in the Liaodong Peninsula, and tungsten in the highlands north of the Xi Jiang (West River).
China holds abundant reserves of molybdenum, mercury, and manganese. There are also substantial reserves of lead, zinc, and copper. Uranium has been discovered in several areas, principally in Northeast and Northwest China. Other resources occurring in considerable quantities are fluorite, mica, phosphate rock, quartz, salt, silica, and talc.
China is well endowed with energy resources. The estimated coal reserves of 115 billion metric tons are among the world’s largest. Most coal is in Northeast China and adjacent areas of North China. Oil reserves, some of which are offshore, are estimated at more than 24 billion barrels. Major oil deposits are located in Northeast China; in Hebei, Shandong, Shaanxi, Gansu, and Qinghai provinces; and in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Oil-shale deposits are located primarily in Liaoning and Guangdong provinces. These proven oil reserves are about the same size as those of the United States and about half the size of Mexico’s reserves. China also has substantial proven reserves of natural gas, often found in association with oil.
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