Rich Mineral Resources in Shaanxi Province of China
Shaanxi Province is famous for its rich mineral resources. The reserves have been prospected for 91 types of minerals , some of which occupy an important position across the country. In 2005, reserves of 56 types of minerals rank the first 10th of the whole country; eight of them top the country, i.e. rhenium ore, salt, limestone ore for making alkali, diopside, limestone for making cement, cement-supporting loess, face-decorating slate and gneiss; 18 types rank 3rd or 4th, such as natural gas, coal, molybdenum, mercury, kaolin, asbestos, etc.. The amount of Sodium salt reserves is up to 885.743 billion tons, ranking first, of potential value of 33.22 trillion yuan; gold reserves 225.50 metal-tons, ranking 8th. In 2005, the potential value of mineral reserves was 42.44 trillion yuan.
The mineral resources in Shaanxi represent a zonality of distribution. In North Shaanxi and areas north to Weihe River are mainly quality coal, petroleum, natural gas, cement limestone, clay and slat family; in Central Shaanxi are mostly gold, molybdenum, minerals as building materials, underground hot water and mineral water; in South Shaanxi Qinling and Bashan Mountains are the ferrous metal, nonferrous metal, noble metal and types of non-metallic minerals.
Coal is the most important mineral in Shaanxi, with 50,000 m2 of coal-bearing area and 270 billion tons of prospected reserves. In 2005, the amount of current coal reserves was up to166.086 billion tons, of a potential value of 8477.026 billion yuan, ranking the 3rd in the whole country. They are mainly in North Shaanxi and the area north to Weihe River. In terms of coal quality, the coal in North Shaanxi is in the shallow stratum, good in quality, convenient for mining and of higher energy conversion value; coal in Central Shaanxi is of high content of sulphur, deep reservoir, with low mining level and intensified production capability.
Thick in coal seam, shallowly buried, easy for mining, the North Shaanxi Shenfu Dongsheng Coalfield, which is developing currently, has an prospected reserves of 160 billion tons and works as one of the seven biggest coalfields in the world, and a rare coalfield high in calorific power but low in sulphur, phosphor and ash contents. Besides, in the Jingbian, a county in the southwest ofYulin, North Shaanxi, the amount of prospected quality coal reserves is up to 3.5 billion tons. The hydrogeology in coal areas is relatively simple, with stable seam roof and floor, low gas content and good mining condition. Additionally, in this mining area there is a great amount of petroleum and natural gas, promising an excellent development prospect and stronge competition in both domestic and international markets in the future.
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