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China says northern Tibet rich in saline lake resources

September 24, 2009

(, Sep23, 2009)

There are many salt lakes in northern Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) that are
distinctive and rich in mineral resources, reported China's online Tibet
news service Sep 22. "The northern areas of Tibet Autonomous
Region is largely distributed by saline lakes, and the grade of mineral
resource is higher than that in the Qinghai Province," it quoted Zheng
Mianping, a leading expert in the research of saline in China, as saying.

Zheng, an academician with Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), had spoken
while attending a forum in Lhasa on the sci-tech progress and economic
development of west China on Sep 21. The forum was on "the prospect of
saline industry development in Tibet is very promising." The report said
Zheng, who is also the director of Research & Development Center of Saline
of Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (CAGS), delivered a speech
entitled "Develop Saline Resources in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Build
World-class Saline Lake Industry" in the forum.

Zheng has said half the saline resources in northern TAR belonging to
special types, with the grade of mineral resources being higher than that in
the Qinghai Province, especially in rare elements. He has said that the
saline lakes in Qinghai are larger in scale, but lower in grade of mineral
resource. In addition, the rare elements in TAR's saline lakes are higher.
The report said that altogether there are 350 saline lakes and salt water
lakes across the Tibetan Plateau.

"Tibet is in a good position to develop a world-class saline lake industry,
which is important to promote sustainable development in the region," the
report quoted Zheng as saying.

To provide a measure of what exploiting the lakes could mean, the report
said that the Caerhan Saline in Qinghai is the largest potash production
base in the PRC. Statistics shows the annual output of fertilizer products
in Qinghai exceeds two million tons, it added.
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