anthracite coal, phosphate rock, northern provinces, neighboring nations, South China Sea
Most mining activities take place in the northern provinces of the country, where anthracite coal, phosphate rock, gypsum, tin, zinc, iron, antimony, and chromite are extracted. Coal and apatite are mined extensively. The total coal production in 1999 was 10.8 million metric tons.
In recent years, large petroleum and natural gas deposits have been discovered along the continental shelf in the South China Sea. With assistance from the Soviet Union, Vietnam began extracting oil from its first oil field in the mid-1980s. Additional oil fields have since become productive. In the late 1990s petroleum accounted for nearly one-third of Vietnamís export revenues. Further development may be hindered, however, by disputes with China and other neighboring nations over the ownership of offshore deposits in the area.
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