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China to focus on lithium mining in Tibet


January 23, 2010

Tibet Mineral Development Co., Ltd, the only listed mining company in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), hopes to become the biggest lithium producer in the PRC and, perhaps, even in the world, after it integrates the lithium resources in the region?s salt lakes, reported China?s official Xinhua news agency Jan 21. The current global capacity of lithium carbonate averages only 40,000 to 50,000 tons. The company is currently focusing on developing the lithium carbonate project in the Zhabuye Salt Lake. It plans to produce 5,000 tons in the first phase of he construction of this project and 20,000 tons in the second phase. The lake's lithium carbonate reserves are estimated at 2.4 million tons. Tibet Mineral Development Co., Ltd holds 40 percent the shares of the Shengyuan Mining Group Corporation, which was founded on Dec 16, 2009 and is expected to serve as a major platform for restructuring Tibet's mining industry. The company?s other business lines include mineral resources like chromium iron and copper, the report said. The report said the TAR had 490 salt lakes with water surface topping one sq km, and the reserves of only seven of them had been verified so far.

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